Monsanto Hawaii Pledges to Work with the National Park Service to Preserve the Honouliuli Internment Camp for its Historic Value

While Monsanto Hawaii is heavily focused on agricultural conservation and sustainability, we also have a social responsibility to perpetuate Hawaii’s culture and history. A major part of this commitment is to ensure that the Honouliuli Internment Camp, located on our Kunia farm, is preserved in perpetuity for the educational benefit of future generations.

In 2007, Monsanto Hawaii acquired farmland in Kunia, which included the site of the former Honouliuli Internment Camp, the largest World War II confinement site in Hawaii built to intern citizens, resident aliens and prisoners of war. At that time, we pledged to work with the community to preserve the Camp site for its historic value. Since then, we have been collaborating closely with local organizations, including the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and University of Hawaii West Oahu, to work with the National Park Service in the hopes of establishing Honouliuli Internment Camp as a National Historic Site. Monsanto plans to donate the land to help achieve that vision.

Last week, the National Park Service took a huge step in achieving this goal when they released a draft study proposing that the Honouliuli Internment Camp could, in fact, be added to the National Park System as a National Historic Site or National Monument. The study found that the Honouliuli Internment Camp depicts a distinct and important aspect of American history associated with civil rights in times of conflict that is not adequately represented or protected elsewhere, and is therefore suitable for inclusion in the National Park System. According to the report, nearly 4,000 individuals and Hawaii residents from Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, Japan and Italy had been incarcerated at the Camp.

Under the study’s preferred alternative, a national historic site or national monument managed by the NPS would be established as a new unit of the National Park System. The national historic site or national monument would include the site of the Honouliuli Internment Camp, which would be transferred to the NPS via donation by Monsanto Hawaii, as well as adjacent lands to provide road access and opportunities for visitor services.

Following receipt and review of public comments, a final report, including a course of action recommended by the Secretary of the Interior, will be transmitted to Congress.

Monsanto Hawaii understands that the road to creating a National Historic Site is long and complex. However, this site is an important part of Hawaii’s history and should be preserved for future generations, which is why Monsanto Hawaii is committed to and very passionate about this effort.

  • For more background information on Monsanto Hawaii and the Honouliuli Internment Camp preservation effort, click here.
  • The executive summary, full report, and the NPS public comment system are available here.
  • Public comments are welcomed by mail, e-mail, or entered directly into the NPS online public comment system through July 15, 2014.  In addition, the NPS will host a series of public meetings throughout Hawai‘i during May and June 2014 in order to present the draft study report, answer questions, and accept comments.

Public Meeting Schedule: 

Kapolei, O‘ahu: Tuesday, May 27, 2–4 pm
Lab Building E132, University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu, 91–1001 Farrington Highway

Honolulu, O‘ahu: Wednesday, May 28, 6–8 pm
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2454 S Beretania Street, #101

Honolulu, O‘ahu: Thursday, May 29, 10 am–noon
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2454 S Beretania Street, #101

Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i: Thursday, May 29, 6:30–8:30 pm
Līhue Neighborhood Center, 3353 Eono Street

Kaunakakai, Molokai: Monday, June 2, 10 am–noon
Kaunakakai Elementary School Cafeteria, Ailoa Street

Kahului, Maui: Monday, June 2, 6–8 pm
Alexa Higashi Room, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, One Cameron Way

Lāna‘i City, Lāna‘i: Tuesday, June 3, 2–4 pm
The Lāna‘i Senior Center, 309 Seventh Street

Hilo, Island of Hawai‘i: Wednesday, June 4, 6–8 pm
Hawai‘i Japanese Center, 751 Kanoelehua Avenue

Virtual Meeting: Tuesday, June 17, 10 am–Noon (Hawai‘i), 1–3 pm (Pacific), 4–6 pm (Eastern)
Virtual meeting web access information will be posted at www.nps.gov/pwro/honouliuli