HONOLULU (KHON2) — Waimea Valley is home to more than 16,000 native plants that have recently been planted by local and global volunteers.

Richard Pezzulo is the current executive director who said this is all part of their conservation mission.

“Our mission is to preserve and perpetuate the humane and natural and cultural resources at Waimea Valley, and part of that is restoring the natural forest in our back acres,” said Pezzulo. 

Pezzulo said most people come to Waimea Valley to experience their waterfall, but there is so much more to do.

Currently, his conservation team is working hard and carefully monitoring and restoring the forest native ecosystems by getting rid of the invasive plants that are not native to this island.

“We actually have 1,500 acres behind the waterfall that we are restoring as native forest,” said Pezzulo. 
He said the culture is rooted in and stems from the environment, and because of that, they need all the help they can get.

“Telling people about our conservation program and how we planted over 20,000 trees and shrubs up in our back acres and how they can pay to have a tree or trees planted to offset their carbon footprint,” said Pezzulo.

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He said with the help and support from the community, state, and private agencies, Waimea Valley is achieving its mission of restoring the native forest.

He also says they are slowly getting the word out to tourists and locals that they can help restore this beautiful forest to its original form.