On October 12, 2021 a small traditional blessing was held in honor of the Fairmont Kea Lani’s recent installment of a Native Hawaiian forest display and garden. Individuals from the resort involved in the project gathered together with community partners for a blessing led by cultural advisor, Kumu Kapono Kamaunu. A traditional ʻoli (chant) was performed by Kumu Kapono and kī (ti plants) were planted to mark the four corners of the grove to ensure protection and prosperity to the long term growth of the young ʻōhiʻa, koa and ʻiliahi trees.
This new ʻōhiʻa grove and native forest display were conceptualized to be a representation of Fairmont Kea Lani’s efforts to protect the native resources of Maui as outlined in the resort’s Kuleana Commitment (CSR responsibilities) to mālama ʻāina (take care of the land). During the blessing, the resort’s general manager, Michael Pye, referenced the Hawaiian proverb: “He aliʻi ka ʻāina, he kauwā ke kanaka” meaning “the land is chief, man is her servant”*. He shared this proverb as a way to express the hotel’s commitment to perpetuate the native Hawaiian culture and care for the natural resources of the island.
The indigenous trees planted in these gardens were selected to support Fairmont Kea Lani’s Rooted in Aloha reforestation initiative. This reforestation initiative was created as a visitor supported conservation program in partnership with Skyline Conservation to restore Maui’s native forests on the slopes of Haleakalā. Through education, fundraising and voluntourism, the resort is working to raise awareness and participation for the preservation of Maui’s precious resources. The new on-property native forest displays, are designed to educate hotel guests and visitors about the eco-system of Hawaiʻi. Guests are invited to participate in the reforestation initiative through sponsorship of a tree and through on site planting of seedlings that will be nurtured in the resort’s greenhouse and planted on Haleakalā once they grow into small trees. To register to plant seedlings during an upcoming visit, please contact the Guest Experience Team.
*Pukui, M. K. (1983). #531, ‘Ōlelo No‘eau Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press.