Hawaii's Tropical Gardens Receive Major Funding

Hawaii's Tropical Gardens Receive Major Funding

A bit of good news for all the botanists, science geeks and general appreciators of all things flora and fauna-related. The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) was awarded the hefty sum of $900,000 in grant funding, which will go towards the construction of a new research center and general operating expenses.

The only federally chartered gardens and preserve in the nation, the NTBG consist of the McBryde, Allerton and Limahuli gardens on Kauai; the Kahanu Garden on Maui; two preserves on the Big Island and the Kampong in Florida. Together, they total 1,800 acres of varying ecosystems, vast living collections of endangered or at-risk species, culturally significant features, priceless sculptures and historical monuments.

The planned new, 20,000-square-foot Botanical Research Center will house an extraordinary library, an expanded herbarium collection room for processing and drying new plants, research stations, a computer lab, seminar space and more.

we'recently visited the Allerton Gardens on Kauai's west side, and were thoroughly impressed. Far from having the eye of a botanist, I was completely overwhelmed at the spectacular surroundings, the effort put in to maintaining the gardens, and the playful sculptures that were idyllically placed throughout. More than a dozen times I must have said: "This is the best place I've ever seen for a photo shoot!" A highlight was a row of purple bougainvillea planted by Queen Emma herself, nearly a century ago, on a cliff's edge. The Pacific before me, and countless species of native Hawaiian plants behind, I understood exactly why people pour their passion in to its maintenance. It's certainly worth your time for a visit. Bring a camera.

Visit www.ntbg.org for a wealth of information and inspiration.