Deep in Wai‘anae Valley on the leeward coast of O‘ahu and in the shadow of Mauna Ka‘ala–the oldest and tallest mountain on the island–lies the Cultural Learning Center at Ka‘ala Farm. For over twenty years, this nonprofit Native Hawaiian organization has focused on restoring ancient, abandoned lo‘i kalo (taro paddies) to their traditional role as the breadbasket of the Wai‘anae coast.
The center works with youth from the economically depressed area, reconnecting them to their culture and the land. Ka‘ala Farm itself is leased from the State, but the only access to it is along a narrow roadway that crosses private land. In 2003, The Trust for Public Land helped Ka‘ala Farm acquire this critical piece of property, ensuring permanent access and providing a land base for the farm’s future growth.