The Kohala Center

Education. Environment. Empowerment.

Kamuela, HI   |  https://kohalacenter.org/

Mission

Founded in the year 2000, The Kohala Center is an independent, community-based center for research, conservation, and education. We turn research and ancestral knowledge into action, so that communities in Hawaii and around the world can thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally, and socially. Our main areas of focus are food, water, place, and people.
(http://www.kohalacenter.org)

Ruling year info

2001

President & Chief Executive Officer

Cheryl Ka'uhane Lupenui

Main address

PO Box 437462

Kamuela, HI 96743 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

99-0354676

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (A05)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In direct response to requests from island residents and leaders to create greater educational and employment opportunities by caring for—and celebrating—Hawai‘i Island’s natural and cultural landscape, The Kohala Center was established in the year 2000 to craft solutions and programs to address the challenges faced by Hawai‘i’s rural communities. Our efforts focus on: (1) Conservation, protecting and rehabilitating terrestrial and marine ecosystems; (2) Education, developing curricula and place-based learning opportunities for students and teachers to deepen their connection to Hawai‘i; (3) Rural Economic Development, offering programs and services to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers succeed, and (4) Leadership Pathways, fostering future generations of community leaders from Hawai‘i, for Hawai‘i.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Beginning Farmer-Rancher Development Program

Given that nearly 90% of the food available in Hawai‘i is imported , and the number of farms in the state and across the U.S. is declining while the average age of farmers is increasing, The Kohala Center’s Beginning Farmer-Rancher Development Program is dedicated to training new farming families on Hawai‘i Island and inspiring island youth to consider careers in agriculture. By motivating and training the next generation of farmers, this program seeks to increase local food production, decrease dependency on imports, diversify Hawai‘i Island’s rural economy, create jobs, and move Hawai‘i toward greater food self-reliance.
(http://kohalacenter.org/farmertraining)

Population(s) Served

Numerous studies show that school learning gardens improve academic performance in a wide spectrum of subjects, foster positive attitudes toward learning, bolster healthy behaviors and nutrition, promote cooperation and teamwork, and instill children with pride in their work and the food they grow . By supporting more than 60 school gardens on Hawai‘i Island through technical assistance, professional development programs, and mini-grants, the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network connects Hawai‘i’s keiki to real food, healthier eating habits, and the ‘āina itself. The Network also administers FoodCorps Hawai‘i and the statewide Hawai‘i Farm to School and School Garden Hui, both of which work to develop garden and nutrition programs for learning gardens and help schools procure fresh, healthy, locally grown food.
(http://kohalacenter.org/hisgn)

Population(s) Served

In an effort to improve, increase, and promote biodiversity, the Hawai‘i Public Seed Initiative works with communities, farmers, and gardeners statewide to select, grow, harvest, store, and improve seed varieties that thrive in Hawai‘i. With more than 90% of the fruit and vegetable varieties grown in the United States in 1900 no longer available today , open-pollinated seed is being lost at a rapid rate. The Initiative offers workshops, organizes seed exchanges, assists in the design and development of variety trials, and opens public seed libraries in an effort to revive the art and science of seed saving in Hawai‘i.
(http://kohalacenter.org/hpsi)

Population(s) Served

Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center is a partnership between The Kohala Center and the County of Hawai‘i to revive and revitalize Kahalu‘u Bay and Beach Park. Rich in historical, cultural, and environmental treasures, Kahalu‘u Bay welcomes more than 400,000 visitors annually, making it West Hawai‘i’s most popular tourist destination. As visitor traffic increases, educating visitors on proper reef etiquette and ecosystem stewardship is critical to the bay’s survival and the region’s economic health. Through volunteer-driven educational programs such as ReefTeach and Citizen Science, Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center promotes and measures the positive impacts of environmental stewardship to ensure the bay remains a healthy and welcoming place for residents and visitors alike.
(http://kohalacenter.org/kbec)

Population(s) Served

The Kohala Watershed Partnership is a voluntary coalition of private landowners and public land managers dedicated to restoring and protecting the native forested watersheds of Kohala Mountain. It is estimated that half of Hawai‘i’s forests have been lost to deforestation, with the remainder threatened by non-native plants and animals. Through the implementation of an adaptive watershed management plan to create fenced preserves, manage feral ungulates, control invasive plants, and restore native forests, the Partnership’s projects protect essential ecosystem services including the capture of rainwater, sediment mitigation, and groundwater recharge. These actions ensure that both native ecosystems and human communities in North Hawai‘i have an abundant supply of fresh water, and protect downslope coastal ecosystems from the detrimental effects of land-based pollution.

Population(s) Served

Hawaiian Scholars Doctoral Fellowship Program (formerly The Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program) supports the work of Native Hawaiian scholars early in their academic careers and others who advance the knowledge of Hawai‘i’s natural and cultural landscape and Hawaiian history, politics, and society. Given The Kohala Center’s successes in creating knowledge-rich jobs and foster the development of a knowledge-based economy and society in Hawai‘i, the Program supports the development of kama‘āina (native-born) intellectual leadership for Hawai‘i’s schools, universities, and research agencies.
http://kohalacenter.org/mellon-hawaii

Population(s) Served

The Kohala Center’s Rural and Cooperative Business Development Services program works to expand and strengthen Hawai‘i’s rural economies and food systems by providing cooperative and business development services to farmers, value-added producers, and small businesses.
Research shows that Hawai‘i imports nearly 90% of its food and 94% of its energy . By offering technical assistance, consulting services, and microloans to agricultural and cooperative businesses, the Laulima Center works to build an ‘āina-based economy by increasing local food production, expanding distribution channels for agricultural producers, creating jobs, stabilizing energy costs, and improving health and prosperity in Hawai‘i’s rural communities.
(http://kohalacenter.org/business)

Population(s) Served

Research indicates that children learn, connect, and retain knowledge more effectively when learning materials are culturally meaningful and relevant to their lives and experiences. Ke Kumu ‘Āina (the source of sustenance) provides middle and high school students with opportunities to engage deeply with ‘āina: the food, water, and places that give us life.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students/trainees gaining knowledge, skills, career preparation from instructional programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Ke Kumu ‘Āina

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Worked with students and teachers to increase science and indigenous natural resource mgmt knowledge and strengthen sense of belonging, responsibility, excellence, aloha, total well-being, and Hawaii.

Acres of land and near-shore marine environments/ecosystems managed, protected, and restored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Kohala Watershed Partnership

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2018 we managed a conservation area of 18000 acres, built/maintained fenceline, planted 3197 native plants, and cleared 108 tons of debris from 16 sediment check dams.

Number of volunteers trained and visitors educated about marine conservation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Kahalu'u Bay Education Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Trained 150 volunteers who helped educate 53K visitors about reef etiquette. These volunteers and K-12 Citizen Scientists help maintain water quality; the reef continues to show signs of recovery

Amount of grant/loan funding secured to support local business development and growth

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Rural and Cooperative Business Development Services

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

(2018) Helped local farms & rural businesses secure grants/loans to implement/expand production & employment potential; managed microloan programs to increase agribusiness opportunities for 16 clients

Number of K-12 students introduced to local food through school garden and nutrition education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Hawai'i Island School Garden Network

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

(2018) Ten emerging food system leaders on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu helped students in 16 schools deepen their connections with ‘āina and local food

Number of native trees and shrubs planted to regenerate native forests on Kohala Mountain

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Kohala Watershed Partnership

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Native species planted include koai‘a, ‘a‘ali‘i, and ‘iliahi

Number of community volunteer days

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Eight Hoa‘āina Stewardship Days engaged more than 150 island residents and visitors to deepen kinship with Hawai‘i Island's forest and coral reef ecosystems

Number of new and potential future farmers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Beginning Farmer-Rancher Development Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

18 adults graduated from the ninth cohort of our Beginning Farmer-Rancher Development Program, and 35 high school students participated in our week-long Ōhāhā High School AgriCULTURE Programs.

Number of people influenced to undertake conservation action

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Kahalu'u Bay Education Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

More than 80 active ReefTeach community stewardsdirectly empowered more than 1,300 students, 3,000 community members,and 65,000 beachgoers with information about conservation of coral reef ecosystems

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In order to improve the health of our islands, The Kohala Center understands the benefit of credible information on which to base decisions and actions to advance our food, water, place, and people-focused initiatives. Developing engaged community members and responsible leaders is also key to implementing our strategies to lead to a thriving and resilient future. The Kohala Center aims to provide and disseminate quality information and train the next generation of island leaders to be effective and thoughtful agents of change.

The Kohala Center conducts basic and applied research, policy research, conservation and restoration initiatives, public outreach, and education to advance our food, water, and place-focused initiatives—all carried out through local, regional, national, and international partnerships. We are also committed to supporting K-12 public education and post-secondary to postdoctoral programs focused on intergenerational knowledge transmission that prepares young people for responsible, transformative leadership in an island context.

The Kohala Center has developed expertise in building organizational partnerships, working with island residents and scientific communities to support the development of effective teaching and research programs. We fulfill all of the typical functions of a research institute and are noted for our critical and key competence in community and public relations, without which research programs often run aground and without which educational programs garner little support from the communities they are intended to serve.

The Kohala Center has generated community and statewide dialog about our societal management of energy, food, water, and other material flows; developed environmental education programs that are proven to increase student knowledge and raise students' personal aspirations; assisted more than 200 small, food-producing enterprises in expanding their organizational capacity and gaining access to capital; created several model public-private partnerships to preserve nearshore and upslope ecosystems. We have not yet been successful in creating income streams for all of our initiatives that are independent of government or philanthropic support.

Financials

The Kohala Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Kohala Center

Board of directors
as of 07/10/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Roberta Chu

Bank of Hawaii

James Takamine

CU Hawaii Federal Credit Union

Valerie Ossipoff

Kona Beach House

Herbert "Monty" Richards

Kahua Ranch

Robert "Bob" Lindsey

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Ian Robertson

The Robertson Company

Puanani Burgess

One-Peace-at-a-Time

Maenette Ah Nee-Benham

University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu