The Return Of Monarch Milo

Pacific Edge Magazine

The Kahala Hotel & Resort guests are now planting trees in their sleep

Through a unique partnership with the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI), The Kahala is helping to establish Oahu's first-ever Legacy Forest with the planting of 200,000 native Milo trees.

Guests of The Kahala Hotel & Resort can now join a first-of-its-kind effort to help create a rare native Hawaiian Milo forest. More than 700 acres of pastureland at the Gunstock Ranch in Laie-Malaekahana on Oahu's North Shore are being returned to their former glory. In addition to Milo, this forest will also be home to dozens of other endemic Hawaiian tree and understory species that once flourished in the Malaekahana ahupua'a (land division).

unnamed (1).jpg

The luxury resort is adding to its achievements in sustainability and award-winning environmental initiatives through this partnership with HLRI and hotel guests. This is the largest Milo reforestation effort in Hawaii's history, and it will create a unique opportunity for guests to help ensure that the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands can be enjoyed long into the future.

"We are witnessing the birth of a forest," said Gerald Glennon, General Manager of The Kahala. "The Milo starts each day with a striking bright yellow flower that turns red-orange in the afternoon and closes by evening. It lives its entire life in a single day. That flower is a metaphor for life. We, too, are only here for a short time, so let us come together to do something remarkable. Let's leave a lasting legacy that will span this generation and reach into the next."


Each sponsored Monarch Milo Legacy Tree is accompanied by a special certificate of planting, which includes the tree's unique radio-frequency identification (RFID) number, GPS coordinates, and customized dedications. Legacy Tree sponsors can view their trees online using the TreeTrackerTM at The high-resolution imagery in this proprietary geotagging system enable sponsors to track the growth, health, location, and sponsorship details of each tree throughout its lifetime.

A range of tree-planting experiences at Gunstock Ranch will be available to guests in the coming months through the award-winning Hawaiian Legacy Tours. Along with the experience of personally planting a Legacy Tree, tours will include expert-led nature walks, cave exploring, horseback rides, utility vehicle (UTV) tours, and breathtaking circle-island helicopter experiences in partnership with Paradise Helicopters.

unnamed (2).jpg

"Our guests appreciate opportunities to become immersed in the authentic experiences you can only find in Hawaii," said Glennon. "This is the first Legacy Forest to feature predominantly Hawaiian Milo, and we are pleased to participate in the creation of a healthy, vibrant ecosystem that can be visited and enjoyed for generations to come." This sustainable partnership model seeks to inspire others and increase awareness for how the simple act of planting a tree can positively impact the environment and change the face of the planet.

For more on unforgettable experiences at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, visit For more on planting Monarch Milo, King Koa, and Royal Sandalwood Legacy Trees, visit

Joy Miyamoto