Native Hawaiians created land divisions called ahupua‘a to adeptly manage island resources and provide for the subsistence of their island communities.
Ahupua‘a were often defined by the boundaries of the watershed, from the mountain peak into the sea. This way of managing resources fostered a strong sense of inter-dependence with the natural world. Economic, social and cultural choices flourished through sustainable use of land, water and resources.
The 1,600 acre ahupua'a of Waipa, located on the north shore of Kaua'i, is one of just a few ahupua‘a in Hawai‘i that remain intact. Waipa is owned by the Kamehameha Schools and is managed by the Waipa Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 1994 that evolved from the community’s first efforts to manage the ahupua'a beginning in the late 1980’s.
For 20 years now, Waipa Foundation has envisioned a thriving ahupua`a, helping to grow awareness of the connections between healthy individuals, health communities and healthy ‘aina.
Waipa is a place where folks can connect with the ‘aina (land and resources, that which feeds us),
and learn about our local values and lifestyle through laulima (many hands working together).
Eat Local, Live Local
Waipa grows kalo (taro) and a variety of other fruits and vegetables. We love sharing the work and the harvest!
The community makes poi together every Thursday in the Waipa poi garage.
Both residents and visitors come to taste the local flavors at our Tuesday Market.. We are also building a community poi mill and kitchen.
As stewards of the ahupua`a, we are intently focused on our kuleana (responsibility) to establish and perpetuate a thriving ahupua`a as an example of healthy interdependent relationships between people and earth’s natural resources. We strive to be a leader in demonstrating Hawaiian approaches to watershed-scale natural resource management. You can kokua (help) by attending a workday or scheduling a group visit. Find out more about our stewardship efforts on our 'aina page.
All of us share the kuleana and ABILITY to be more sustainable, and Waipa is a place for culturally relevant practices, teaching, and sharing while we learn again how to live in balance with our ‘aina. Restoring health and vibrance in the ahupua‘a and in ourselves too. Mahalo nui for visiting us online. We hope to see you at Waipa soon!