Are you a part of the community that cares for our lands and waters? Your work is vital to the health and well-being of our community and the Stewardship Mapping & Assessment Project wants to hear from you! The project is encouraging local groups and organizations to participate in a project to help us better understand and support the role of community and civic groups in the care of lands and waters of Kona and Koʻolaupoko, the first phase of the project on Oʻahu.

Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP) is an effort to better understand and highlight how community members care for the many special places in Hawai‘i. STEW-MAP is designed to help map these stewardship connections with the goal of strengthening community capacity to take care of or mālama Hawai‘i’s natural-cultural resources. The first phase on Oʻahu is focused on Kona and Koʻolaupoko districts with other districts and islands to be included in the future. To receive the survey so your group can get on the map, or to refer us to other groups, email or follow the links on the project website.

The Stewardship Mapping & Assessment Project collects survey data to create a public online stewardship database and map of community, civic, and other organizations that mālama ʻāina and kai. This database can identify the gaps and overlaps, and create resources to strengthen capacity to mālama ʻāina and it can serve as a networking tool for organizations, volunteers, and agencies.

The project was launched ten years ago in New York City and it has since been applied in a range of cities including Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles as well international cities in France, Colombia, and China. Last year the project focused on West Hawaiʻi Island (North Kona and South Kohala Districts) and 129 groups and agencies participated. Preliminary analyses show that the community-based network of stewardship is profound–extending and cross-cutting from mauka to makai and including formal, informal, large and small groups. Not all are solely focused on stewardship, per say, some are canoe clubs, schools, faith based organizations, neighbors, and ʻohana, yet they all contribute to the care of the land. The full results will be shared in the coming year.


The Stewardship Mapping & Assessment Project on Oʻahu is supported by the US Forest Service Region 5 and the DLNR Hawaiʻi Division of Forestry and Wildlife. It operates in partnership with the Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and in collaboration with: Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, Smart Trees Pacific, Paepae o Heʻeia, Hawaiʻi Coastal Zone Management, The Outdoor Circle, Resilient Oʻahu of the Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Resiliency, and Sustainability, Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo, Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science, Promise to Pae ʻĀina, Travel2Change, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society.


Heather McMillen, Ph.D.
DOFAW Urban & Community Forester
Phone: (808) 587-0054

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