Kaua‘i Fishpond Access Preserved for Community

Trust for Public Land (TPL), Waipā Foundation, County of Kaua‘i, and State of Hawai‘i today announced the purchase and transfer of ownership and stewardship of a quarter-acre of land in the Waipā ahupua‘a along Kauaʻi’s north shore. Known as the Halulu Fishpond Access, the property includes a community path to Waipā’s coastal zone along Hanalei Bay and part of the fishpond itself.

Trust for Public Land led and facilitated the acquisition and the Kaua‘i community united to raise $1.3 million in public funds to buy the land from Waioli Corporation and protect and convey it to the Waipā Foundation. The nonprofit’s ownership of the property will secure its permanent presence on Kaua‘i’s north shore, ensuring that the land can continue to feed, inspire, and nurture community resilience.

“When Hawaiian lands and people flourish, the rest of Hawai‘i does too,” said Reyna Ramolete, Aloha ‘Āina Project Manager, Trust for Public Land. “We’re humbled to partner with the Kaua‘i community to preserve this storied place and ensure Waipā Foundation can continue to care for Halulu Fishpond and the Hanalei coastline training the next generation of ‘āina stewards.”

The acquisition and transfer of Halulu Fishpond Access to Waipā Foundation marks TPLs 50th successful project in the islands as the organization celebrates 50 years of serving Hawai‘i. TPL has protected over 77,000 acres across Maui, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Island, Moloka‘i, and O‘ahu, and connected 27,000 community members to outdoor spaces within a 10-minute walk of home.

The County of Kaua‘i’s Public Access, Open Spaces and Natural Resources Preservation Fund contributed $850,000 and the State of Hawai‘i’s Capital Improvement Program and Legacy Land Conservation Program contributed $450,000 toward the conservation purchase. The property is now encumbered by a perpetual conservation easement, the first of its kind held by the County of Kaua‘i, which restricts the land to cultural, conservation, and agricultural uses, as well as a permanent deed restriction required by the State.

“We are thrilled to support the community-led protection of Halulu Fishpond Access and thank all involved in this effort. This acquisition further empowers Waipā to continue its inspirational programs and stewardship of the land while keeping the Hawaiian culture and values at the forefront for many years to come,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami.

“We are honored to play a role in protecting this parcel which preserves open space, agriculture, and community access to Halulu Fishpond and the Hanalei coast for future generations,” shared Senate President Ronald Kouchi.

“Mahalo to Trust for Public Land and Waipā Foundation for their commitment to protecting Hawai‘i’s most cherished lands for our people and perpetuating Hawaiian culture,” said House Majority Leader Nadine Nakamura.

“We are proud that the Legacy Land Conservation Fund contributed to preserving Halulu Fishpond Access for community stewardship,” said Dawn Chang, Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Waipā Foundation was established thirty years ago by local farmers and families determined to save space for Hawaiian practices, people and values. As the new property owner, the nonprofit will continue to use the land as a living learning center to educate the community through hands-on experience.

“We are grateful to Trust for Public Land, the County of Kauai, the State of Hawai‘i, and Waioli Corporation for supporting us in protecting this critical coastal parcel and community access to Halulu Fishpond,” said Stacy Sproat, Executive Director, Waipā Foundation. “Halulu Fishpond will remain a welcoming gateway to Waipā makai for those who want to learn and care for this ‘āina.”

Thousands of community members walk through the property each year to learn about, steward, and enjoy the fishpond, coastline and estuary. Waipā Foundation inspires local entrepreneurial spirit with weekly farmers’ markets and seasonal food festivals and hosts enrichment programs for keiki to learn about culture, food and leadership.

“Thank you to Trust for Public Land for working with us to conserve this special parcel,” said Sam Pratt, President, Waioli Corporation. “Waioli is happy that Waipā Foundation will steward the property in a balanced and responsible manner to help sustain the people of Kauaʻi and the entire community.”

About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.

About Waipā Foundation

Thirty years ago, local farmers and families set a bold initiative to save a space for Hawaiian practices, people, and values on Kaua‘i’s north shore by restoring the health and native ecosystems of the Waipā ahupua‘a. From humble beginnings and grassroots efforts, the Waipā Foundation was formed. Today, the non-profit community organization leases and stewards 1,672 acres, managing the land from mauka to makai as a community space and living learning center of sustainability through Hawaiian cultural practice and values. To learn more, visit waipafoundation.org.

About the County of Kaua‘i’s Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund

The Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Funds is used to acquire lands or other property entitlements for conservation purposes. https://www.kauai.gov/Government/Boards-and-Commissions/Public-Access-Open-Space-Commission

About the Legacy Land Conservation Program

The Legacy Land Conservation Program provides grants to community organizations and government agencies that strive to purchase and protect land that shelters exceptional, unique, threatened, and endangered resources. ​ https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ecosystems/llcp/