Hawaii Mom Blog: Turtle Bay Resort Partners with Pono Pacific to Transform Mauka Property into World-Class Farmland




March 8, 2019

Turtle Bay Resort Partners with Pono Pacific to Transform Mauka Property into World-Class Farmland

Turtle Bay Resort and Pono Pacific today announced a new partnership to revitalize the mauka agricultural lands, over 460 acres of Kahuku farmland known as Turtle Bay mauka lands. Their vision is to create a healthy, vibrant farm that boasts world-class sustainability practices alongside ancient Hawaiian knowledge and culture.
"At its heart, Turtle Bay's mauka land is an agricultural property and we intend to celebrate and protect that," said John Leong, CEO and founder of Pono Pacific.
Turtle Bay Resort, in partnership with the City & County of Honolulu and North Shore Community Land Trust, finalized its landmark agricultural easement protecting the farmlands in 2016. Having been acquired by Blackstone Real Estate in 2017, the resort has retained Pono Pacific to oversee land management and farming operations for the portion of the resort property mauka of Kamehameha Highway. Pono Pacific is a respected local leader in environmental conservation and will execute a measured, thoughtful transformation of the farmland that will, over time, fulfill a visionary future plan for the area. Ultimately, a thriving farm operation will lead to farm-to-table dining and a variety of community benefits including community gardens, education and recreation experiences and best-in-class renewable energy practices.
"Our thoughtful and environmentally-sensitive approach goes far beyond what the agricultural easement compliance requires and adopts a forward-looking plan that benefits the community and state," said Jerry Gibson, vice president and managing director of Turtle Bay Resort. "The preservation and enhancement of this land and the North Shore agricultural way of life is vital to promoting stable and sustainable food production in a state where more than 85 percent of our food is imported."
Pono Pacific will work closely with farmers currently on the land, many of whom have been there for years. Through collaboration with each farmer and their families, and providing training and resources, Pono Pacific plans to help them improve their operations so they may better mālama the land and feed the community.
A part of the North Shore community since 1972, Turtle Bay Resort hopes to enhance the North Shore's beauty, traditions and unique experiences by bringing its rich agricultural history to life in new ways. Turtle Bay and Pono Pacific foresees the renewed farmland serving as an example of economically viable and environmentally sustainable farming operations for the rest of Hawai'i. The partnership also plans to pursue using crops as energy generating biofuels to reduce Turtle Bay's carbon footprint and further Hawai'i's clean energy goals.

'We want to serve as a model of how resorts can contribute to agriculture, energy and sustainability in a way that positively impact their community and state," said Gibson. "It is about doing what's right for Hawai'i and for the North Shore, benefitting generations to come."

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