Matthew Boyer, Vice President of Individual Giving

LAST NOVEMBER, I traveled to the site of our next Forestscape — Hawai‘i — to plan an opportunity for American Forests’ members to embark on an exclusive adventure exploring the Big Island of Hawai‘i as you’ve never seen it before!

Kilauea iki crater in Volcanoes National Park

Kilauea iki crater in Volcanoes National Park

On my fourth day there, I visited Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This is where we will begin our trip this October, enjoying a private dinner with the park’s superintendent as we watch the volcano glow in the night through the dining room windows of the Volcano House. We will spend a few days hiking with the park’s head rangers while we learn about their pioneering efforts to restore the lush forests between their boundaries with native trees and plants. We will also visit the Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program site, which is closed to the public, to learn about their efforts to reintroduce the Hawai‘ian crow back to the forests of Hawai‘i.

On the same day, I made a site visit to one of Hawai‘i’s two vineyards to plan our visit there. We will learn about what it takes to grow wine in Hawai‘i before heading to the Kona side of the island and checking into the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel — rated by Travel & Leisure magazine as the No. 1 hotel in the world! We’ll learn about Four Seasons’ efforts to help with reforestation on the island.

Beach chairs at the Four Seasons at Hualalai

Beach chairs at the Four Seasons at Hualalai; Credit: Stacibeck/Flickr

I also visited the site of an American Forests project that is working tirelessly to save Hawai‘i’s wilderness from the destruction of feral goats, sheep, pigs and cows through fencing and the planting of endemic trees such as Koa. Guests in October will get to see this site and we will personally help with the reforestation effort as each participant plants a tree in reclaimed pastureland being converted back into a native forest. Not only will you plant a tree but you will be given its exact GPS coordinates so you can come back and visit it in years ahead or watch its growth from home using Google Earth!

There are so many more surprises waiting for you on this trip. Please visit www.americanforests.org/hawaii2014 for more details and to sign up!