Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi

Mentor: Jonathan Kanekoa Kukea-Shultz

STEM Fields: 

Research Goal:
This program will work to develop 10 individuals in ʻahupuaa management techniques unique to our area and will receive training in the areas of kalo farming, value-added food production, conservation through flood mitigation, and ecosystem management, heavy equipment operation, volunteer management, and environmental education and awareness.

Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi Website: https://kakoooiwi.org/

Kakoo Oiwi LogoAbout Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi

At Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, we’re committed to providing sustainably farmed fresh produce. We’ve been working towards this goal since 2006, and we continue to strive towards a future where people can have meaningful cultural connections with the land in ways that are both educational and rewarding. Our Poi Mill, which broke ground in 2020, is just one example of how we’re making headway towards our goal.

Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi has obtained a 38-year lease with Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) which is part of the State of Hawaii to restore and create a 400 acres of Hawaiian wetland system. This wetland includes 180 acres of taro (a Hawaiian Food Crop), 120 acres of lowland forest agriculture and 100 acres of natural wetlands and Loko wai (freshwater fishponds). It will provide biological, social, and spiritual substance for our community. Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi could not have started this project alone and is grateful for the formal partnerships with HCDA, The Nature Conservancy, NOAA Pacific Services Center, CZM, US Fish and Wildlife, University of Hawaii (HIMB, COE, Hawaiinuiakea, SOEST, Botany and CTAHR), Heeia National Esturine Research Reserve, Army Corp of Engineers, Paepae o Heeia, Hui ku Maoli Ola, Department of Education Castle-Kahuku Complex and the Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club. These important partnerships will allow for the most effective and informed processes to develop funding, data layers, and labor needs for Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi Project entitled, Mahuahua Ai o Hoi. This program will fulfill the needs of our community in regard to development of an economy around a circular agriculture where the farming practices provides ecosystem services in providing bird habitat, flood mitigation and cultural activities. All activities lead Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi and our community to sustainable revenue.

Meet Our Internship Mentor: Jonathan K. Kukea-ShultzMan smiling

Jonathan K. Kukea-Shultz has worked at Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi (KO) for over 15 years. Through his efforts, KO has developed into a $4M organization which utilizes government and private partnerships to fund initiatives focusing on the goal of integrating a 400 acre parcel for He‘eia wetlands:

● Restoration of 45 acres of wetland ecosystems and capital improvement projects including a poi mill and commercial kitchen and educational pods
● Creation of an ‘Ohana Stewardship Program providing 25 families opportunities to practice traditional Native Hawaiian land management.
● Creation and management of sustainable food forest programs that fed local communities Internship duties and responsibilities

Internship duties and responsibilities:

Interns should be comfortable with and able to:

  • Ability to work in outdoor environment for 4 or more hours per day
  • Willing to learn to use outdoor hand tools (pick, lopper, shovel, etc.)
  • Positive work attitude
  • Ability to communicate effectively (verbally, email)

2024 Internship Schedule (Tentative):

Spring 2024:

  • Friday, March 22, 2024 from 8am – 5pm

Summer 2024:

  • 06/17/2024 – 06/21/2024
    Monday & Tuesday – farm
    Wednesday – wetland
    Thursday – Poi mill and Imu
    Friday – kulolo, presentations

*Schedules are tentative and are subject to change. Interns will be required to work 8 hours in the Spring 2023. Interns will be required to work 40 hours in the Summer 2023.

Internship Meeting Location:

Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi
46-406 Kamehameha Highway
Kaneohe, HI 96744

Initial meetings will be at Opu Nui (dark gray building as you enter our site)