HAWAII – Hawaii is so much more than just a beautiful destination. From beach clean-ups to eliminating invasive species, the Hawaiian Islands also offer meetings and incentive groups unique corporate social responsibility (CSR) opportunities to connect with the unique culture and sense of place of these islands while taking in their breathtaking natural wonder. Whether immersing your group in cultural experiences such as restoring a centuries-old loko ia (fishpond) built by early Hawaiians or harvesting kalo (taro) from a loi (irrigated agricultural terrace) and learning to pound its root into poi (a traditional Hawaiian staple food), only in Hawaii will groups find authentic and engaging experiences simultaneously connecting them with the Islands’ rich history. Featured below are a few CSR opportunities that are available to groups on the Hawaiian Islands:
- Restore a centuries-old loko ia (Hawaiian fishpond). Constructed by early Hawaiians, hundreds of years ago as a means of supplementing their ocean fishing catch, loko ia guaranteed supplies of fish would remain a constant in lean times. Today, Hawaii residents and visitors are encouraged to volunteer their service in restoring these ancient coastline ponds and reducing the effects of the ocean’s constant wear and tear on them. The nonprofit caretakers of Heeia Fishpond (Oahu), Kōieie Fishpond (Maui), and Keawanui and Ualapue Fishponds (Molokai) offer groups opportunities to spend a day restoring and learning about these ancient aquaculture systems.
- Support the farming of kalo. On a tour of the vast Hanalei Valley taro fields of Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill on Kauai, groups are offered an opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural experience of harvesting kalo from the former rice mill’s loi and gain some knowledge of Hawaii agricultural and cultural history. Tour proceeds benefit continuing flood recovery efforts in Hanalei Valley and restoration of the tour’s historic namesake mill, the last rice mill still standing in the Islands.
- Immerse yourself in Hawaii’s flora and fauna. Groups interested in getting back and giving back to Hawaii’s natural landscapes can join in with volunteer programs such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Stewardship at the Summit for work on island of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. There, your group can help reduce the spread of invasive Himalayan ginger and other invasive non-native plants, accompanied by the songs of rare native honey creepers like the apapane and amakihi. On Maui, groups can volunteer to help remove invasive weeds from Haleakala volcano’s rainforest sanctuary, Waikamoi Preserve. And on Molokai, groups can volunteer to assist in the continuing native plant restoration of Mokio Preserve’s five miles of unsullied shoreline, which includes dune ecosystems and seasonal wetlands, as well as an adze quarry, fishing shrine and housing complexes constructed by early Hawaiians.
- Take part in the reforestation of native Hawaii trees. On Maui’s Haleakala, activity company Skyline Eco-Tours is reintroducing koa, a native tree endemic to the Hawaiian Islands back to the landscape by adding a tree-planting ceremony to guest experiences on its zipline adventures.
- Volunteer with travel2change. Groups are invited to partner with Hawaii based nonprofit travel2change to participate in hands-on, off-the-beaten-path activities across the Hawaiian Islands centered around volunteer work. Volunteer offerings travel2change can connect groups to while in the Hawaiian Islands include beach cleanups, food drives, cultural walking tours and other experiences that actually encounter social issues rather than detour around them.
As hosts to a variety of unique cultural attractions and one-of-a-kind experiences, the islands of Hawaii offer many amazing ways to craft a rewarding itinerary filled with corporate social responsibility (CSR) and cultural activities while learning about Hawaii’s rich history and leaving behind positive impacts. For additional information or ideas on how to plan your next trip to the Islands, visit www.meethawaii.com.
About Meet Hawaii
Meet Hawaii is a collaboration of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), HTA’s Global Marketing Teams and the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) to reinforce the brand of the Hawaiian Islands as a world-class destination for global business meetings, conventions and incentive programs. The marketing efforts of the Meet Hawaii team are overseen by HTA, the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency. HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. For information about Meet Hawaii and the hosting of meetings, conventions and incentives, please visit MeetHawaii.com.
Anthology Marketing Group