Monday, May 12, 2008

Legacy Funds for Wai`anae's MA'O Farms

The state has agreed to help buy 907 acres of special lands (click on the image on the right for a fuller view) for preservation, "using $4.7 million from its Legacy Land Conservation Program. The state's contribution to the land acquisitions on five islands will ensure the public can enjoy them, with ownership going to nonprofit preservation groups and to Hawai'i County, said Paul Conry, administrator of the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife. The total value of the five parcels is estimated at $19 million, according to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, which approved the projects recommended by the Legacy Land Conservation Commission from among 11 applicants. The projects encompass 'so many different conservation values, cultural or scenic or access or habitat,' said Dale Bonar, commission chairman. 'Our goal is to select the best projects out there, especially if it has multiple characteristics.' For example . . . MA'O Organic Farms, a program of the Wai'anae Community Redevelopment Corporation, trains area youth to grow healthy food and learn about the land. 'They're bringing kids in, giving them productive entrepreneurial training and sustainability,' Bonar said. 'It's such a great program.' The Legacy Land program is funded with a portion of the state conveyance tax on real estate sales." (These excerpts are from Diana Leone's "Legacy funds help buy land: Program contributes $4.7M to preservation of 5 areas across state," Honolulu Advertiser, 10 May 2008, forwarded by Wally Inglis).

Comment: Karen Young of Wai`anae is a member of the Legacy Land Conservation Commission. She is the mother of Rep. Maile Shimabukuro.

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