Public and private groups join together to buy over 1,700 acres of former agricultural land in Wahiawa. Much of that land will be used for farming again.
Farmers will get another chance to raise crops on former plantation land in Central Oahu that has been unused since 2004. After years of growing pineapple, Del Monte stopped cultivating crops on the land, which is considered to be prime agricultural property.
"These are higher elevation lands with water supplies that have shown to be very productive," said Russell Kokubun, chairperson of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
The 1,743 acres of land belonged to the George Galbraith Estate. The majority of the land was paid for by the state and given to Hawaii's Agribusiness Development Corporation to be used for exclusively for farming.
Nearly 500 of the acres will be given to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which contributed $3-million to the sale. Some of that land could also be used for agriculture, but it will also be used to ensure Kukaniloko, the royal birthing stones and sacred Hawaiian site, will be preserved.
"Kukaniloko represents the legacy of the royal chiefs for Oahu and throughout Hawaii," said Dr. Kamanaopono Crabbe, the CEO of OHA.
The land was once traditionally known as "Lihu'e" and served as a training ground for Hawaiian warriors.
Now, a different kind of warriors train nearby, Army soldiers.
To make sure there is a buffer between the training areas and any surrounding developments the US Army gave $4.5 million for the sale.
The $4 million needed for the land also came from a fund paid through Honolulu's property taxes. $500,000 was given by the DR Horton-Schuler division.
The Trust for Public Land, a conservation group that has preserved over 42,000 acres of land over the past 20 years, set up the sale.
A sale some hope will lead to other preservation projects in the future.