KEAUHOU, Hawaii – As a fundraising deadline looms, the organizations working to protect the ancient Kuamo‘o battlefield and burial grounds in Kona say they still need to raise the final $200,000 of the $4.25 million needed to purchase and preserve the 47 acres of makai land.
November 5, 2015
Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Āina (AKA) and The Trust for Public Land have joined together to protect and preserve the ancient Kuamo‘o battlefield and burial grounds on Hawai‘i Island south of Kona. With a November 30th fundraising deadline looming, over 95% of the $4.25 million needed has been secured. The organizations now ask the community for kōkua to raise the final $200,000 needed to purchase and preserve the 47 acres of makai land that is rich in history, cultural treasures, burial sites, and a portion of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Lea Hong, The Trust for Public Land’s State Director, said, “We are hoping to complete the effort and purchase the property by the end of November. We have finished all of our due diligence such as the appraisal, environmental survey, and title review. Currently we are submitting required documentation to the State Legacy Land Conservation Program and Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which have provided much needed support for the land acquisition costs.”
After the fundraising is completed, AKA will own, preserve and steward the land in perpetuity. AKA envisions a restored landscape that will be a catalyst for meaningful learning through place based education that will help to achieve justice and peace for Hawai‘i’s people, environment, and the world.
The landowner, Margaret Schauttauer, is happy that the history of these lands will be honored in perpetuity, saying “There is so much important history at Kuamo’o. I have always wanted this to be preserved and shared. I am so very glad that Trust for Public Land and Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Āina have helped secure a good future for these precious lands and I strongly support Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Āina’s vision and plans to share the importance of this ‘āina for many generations to come.”
The Dorrance Family Foundation has offered a matching gift opportunity for gifts $5,000 and higher, up to $25,000. Thus far, two donors have come forward with $5,000 gifts, and The Trust for Public Land is hoping that more donors will step forward to meet the match. “We are so close to reaching the goal to purchase and conserve Kuamo‘o by the end of November. Every dollar counts at this point, and we ask community members to visit www.ProtectKuamoo.org, make a gift, and be a part of a lasting legacy to preserve these special lands,” urged Leslie Uptain, The Trust for Public Land’s Director of Philanthropy.
Many local Hawai‘i Island businesses have stepped up to help preserve these lands. Big Island Toyota has pledged $20,000 toward the effort, and invites the community to a “A Very Special Holiday Hoolaulea” at the Kona dealership on December 19th from 10am – 1pm. The celebration will include food and holiday fun – along with live music by Makaha Sons and a guest performance by Keola Beamer. Jackie Deluz Watanabe, President & Secretary of Big Island Toyota shared, “Big Island Toyota and the De Luz family supports the Kuamo’o Project not just because of its cultural significance and rich history but also for the vision of the Beamer family who will preserve the site for future generations of the Big Island and Hawai’i by creating a center of education. This project gives our community a sense of purpose to preserve these lands to encourage awareness and to perpetuate the legacy of this cultural site.”
KTA Super Stores was an early supporter of the effort, with the Taniguchi family donating $10,000. Toby Taniguchi, President of KTA, serves on the Kuamo`o fundraising committee and said, “We are extremely grateful to be afforded an opportunity to participate in the preservation of such an important part of Hawai‘i history. We see special value in the unique educational opportunities these lands will give our community for many years to come!”
To learn more about the history of Kuamo‘o and make a gift of support, visit www.ProtectKuamoo.org. Checks can be made payable to The Trust for Public Land and mailed to 1003 Bishop St. #740, Honolulu, HI 96813. Call 808-524-8694 for more information.
About the Battle of Kuamo‘o
In 1819, the Battle of Kuamo‘o saw Hawaiian forces clashing over the traditional kapu religious system. The dispute pitted the forces of Kekuaokalani, nephew of Kamehameha I, who sought to preserve the traditional system, against his cousin, Liholiho (Kamehameha II), who had proclaimed that the system be abandoned. Liholiho was victorious, but many warriors from both sides perished in battle and were buried on the property. This included Kekuaokalani and his wife, Chiefess Manono. With her dying breath, Chiefess Manono is said to have uttered “Mālama kō aloha”- “keep your love”- a plea to both sides that no matter what obstacles come to Hawai‘i, keep your love of one another.
About Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Āina
Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Āina (AKA) is a Hawai‘i Island based nonprofit, founded by the Beamer ‘Ohana and headed by Keola Beamer. AKA is a Hawai‘i center for cultural and ecological peace, with a mission to promote aloha ‘āina as consistent with the mo‘olelo (stories) and values of Kuamo‘o to achieve justice and peace for Hawai‘i’s people, environment, and the world. After the property is secured, AKA plans to engage the community to help steward the land and create a vision for its future.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit that has been conserving land in Hawai‘i since 1979. The Trust for Public Land seeks to engage local residents in protecting resources that are special and significant to their communities. Coastal lands, working lands that contribute to Hawai‘i’s self-sufficiency, and lands that perpetuate Hawaiian culture are the immediate priority. To date, the organization has completed 29 projects conserving over 42,000 acres throughout Hawai‘i.