A Hāmākua couple with a legacy of conserving is continuing their quest to help the land.
Lois and Dick Robbins have maintained their annual contribution to The Nature Conservancy in Hawai’i as a long-term investment in safeguarding its native forests, having donated more than $545,000 over the last 19 years to TNC’s Hawai’i Island program through the Max and Yetta Karasik Family Foundation.
The Nature Conservancy, or TNC, a global non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends, commended the two decades of financial support in a news release Thursday, May 12.
“My experiences growing up among Hawai’i’s native forests have motivated me to protect and restore what remains,” Lois Robbins said in the release. “Their natural beauty and importance cannot be overstated. They are home to a treasured biodiversity and provide benefits to people such as fresh water and clean air.”
Lois, who worked as an educator, grew up in Honolulu and experienced nature every day. Dick, a cardiologist, also remembers loving nature in his youth. Retired now, the couple lives in Hāmākua and are dedicated to protecting Hawai’i’s diversity of life.
They are inspired by how Kona Hema Preserve – home to ancient koa-`ōhi`a forest and rare species – rebounds from TNC’s care and protection, as evidenced over the past year when planted endangered Cyanea marksii flowered. A native damselfly was also spotted at Kona Hema for the first time in more than 20 years. One of the greatest findings was the documented presence of native land snails – viewed by some as the ubiquitous canary in a coal mine, as their presence speaks to the overall blossoming health of the Kona Hema forest.
“We are so grateful to the Robbins and our other supporters who make our work possible,” Lori Admiral, director of philanthropy for TNC Hawai’i and Palmyra, said. “Their passion for nature and for our efforts to keep it thriving is what drives us.”
The Robbins trust that TNC’s conservation experience, scientific knowledge and technical expertise makes it possible to secure the long-term survival of these vital natural systems.
TNC has forged partnerships to manage 14 preserves and other sites in Hawai’i and Palmyra Atoll, working with government, private parties and communities to protect Hawai’i’s and Palmyra’s forests and coral reefs for their ecological value and for the many benefits they provide to people.
“TNC boldly addresses challenges to create a world where people and nature can thrive,” Dick said. “We encourage others to consider supporting TNC. Together, we can help shape a brighter future for our planet.”
Visit nature.org/Hawaii Palmyra.