As we welcome 2019, our Skyline Eco-Adventures team is reflecting on a year well spent! From our zipline courses to our eco-tours, our conservation efforts to our community involvement, and from our guides to our wonderful guests, we had a record year full of new adventures, accomplishments, and big smiles. 2018 surely lived up to our expectation to always Do Good and Have Fun!
We couldn’t have started last year with anything more exciting than the launch of Skyline Hawaii on January 2, 2018. Skyline Hawaii is our newest branch of Skyline Eco-Adventures, offering Haleakala National Park tours like sunrise tours, bike n’ zip tours, and Road to Hana tours! At Skyline Hawaii we are committed to our mission, “To provide a safe and exciting means for seeing and experiencing the natural wonder of the Hawaiian Islands, while always aiding in the preservation and perpetuation of the islands unique land and culture, so that they may retain their body and spirit for all future generations.”
In the spirit of preserving our lands and culture for future generations, the Skyline team took conservation to the next level. This past year, 10 beach cleanups were organized, clearing 5,000 lbs of trash off of Maui beaches! One of these beach cleanups was our community beach cleanup organized by Wipe Out Plastic, our initiative to help mitigate our planet’s plastic pollution problem. Headed by Jill Wirt, our Wipe Out Plastic (WOP) initiative has made amazing strides in educating the public about the dangers of plastic for our oceans and ourselves, and we have even expanded our reach from the islands to California! A main focus of WOP is eliminating single-use plastic like disposable water bottles. To help future generations take a step away from plastic, Skyline Eco-Adventures installed 2 water fill stations at Haiku Elementary School!
Of course, we didn’t stop there. The Skyline Conservation Initiative (SCI) has seen its most productive year to date. Thanks to SCI’s incredible Program Manager, Joseph Imhoff, Skyline Conservation Initiative as well as the Skyline crew and numerous volunteers (334 volunteers throughout the year to be exact!) accomplished the following:
- Cleared 1.9 acres of invasive eucalyptus and wattle forest
- Planted 1,350 native plants
- Coordinated 12 volunteer groups from schools and community groups
- Conducted 11 Classroom lectures
- Held 30 Core Training sessions for Skyline Staff
Our guides and staff love to get involved with our conservation efforts as well! Skyline Conservation Initiative coordinated Skyline crew volunteer trips to support the following:
- KIRC – Trip to Kahoolawe Island to plant native trees.
- Mid Elevation Rare Plant Facility – Planted native trees and ongoing nursery support for Plant Extinction Prevention Program.
- Mauna Kahalawai Watershed Partnership – Invasive species control to protect native habitat.
- Hawaiian Islands Land Trust – Maintain coastal wetlands and seabird habitat. Invasive species control.
- Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project – Habitat Restoration for re-introduction of critically endangered Kiwikiu (native forest bird). Planting native trees, building aviaries, predator control.
- Scientific research for the study of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat.
Furthermore, SCI executed a conservation plan in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service EQIP program, secured grant funding for 2019 restoration projects, and donated tens of thousands of Ohia seeds from 11 individual Ohia trees. These seeds became a part of the seed banking program and scientific research for the prevention against the spread of Rapid Ohia Death Fungal Pathogen that is currently affecting native habitats on Kauai and Hawaii Island.
SCI hosted multiple seed collecting trips into wild remnant native forests that are closest to our restoration sites. These seeds are currently being propagated for 2019/2020 SCI out plantings. The following species of seeds were collected:
- Costal Sandalwood (Santalum elipticum)
- Endemic Sandalwood (Santalum Haleakalai)
It’s been an amazing year for Skyline Conservation Initiative, allowing Skyline’s eco-footprint to keep growing! If you are interested in volunteering for future seed collecting trips or tree plantings with Skyline Conservation Initiative, you can sign up here http://www.skylineconservation.org/volunteer-with-us/.
Supporting our communities is a top priority for us here at Skyline. We had so much fun in September during our Kama’aina month, offering free ziplining for our local guests that provided 10 canned goods for our food drive. We collected and donated 19,510 lbs of food to the Maui Food Bank and Kauai Independent Food Bank, our biggest year ever! We have been so pleased to support so many local organizations focused on the preservation of our environment and the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture through our Partner of the Month program. This program allows our guests the opportunity to donate to these organizations directly when purchasing a tour with us. We are also proud to say that in 2018 Skyline Eco-Adventures donated over $100,000 directly to local charities and community non-profits in Hawaii.
As we look forward to this new year with optimism and excitement, we cannot help but reminisce on the wonderful year that has passed. Of course, seeing our guests’ smiling faces (as well as TripAdvisor reviews) has been one of the most rewarding parts of our 2018. We couldn’t do what we do without the patronage of all of those that chose to zipline with us or join us on an eco-tour this year. Mahalo to all those who were a part of our journey in 2018, we cannot wait to see what 2019 holds!