Monday, September 15, 2008
Hawaii resort project calls for investing in trees
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -
Visitors to the Big Island will have a chance to buy and plant a tree and then reap part of the profit when it's cut down in 30 years or so.
They'll also be able to monitor the tree's progress on the Internet, including how much carbon dioxide it absorbs and whether it ends up as a skateboard, koa canoe or part of a wind-power generator.
The Mauna Lani Resort and True Offsets, which is already developing a mill to process the wood, are partnering in the new ecological restoration project.
Guests will be offered the chance to plunk down $37 to buy a tree sapling, plant it in Hamakua and then watch it over the next several years via a Web site.
The plan is to mail tree investors a check for 5 percent of their plant's value at harvest time, which could be up to $2,500 on a koa tree that's worth $50,000 in today's market.
Or, less patient investors could go for something like bamboo, that could be harvested in about three years with a much smaller return. A single plant likely would produce only about $30 worth of bamboo in that time.
The painting is by Laura Tasheiko