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News: Flood Recovery at Limahuli Garden and Preserve

 

February 04, 2020

GCA Restoration Grant Makes a Difference

In the face of catastrophic weather-related disasters across the country, The Garden Club of America launched a national Restoration Initiative in 2018. Five GCA clubs, whose communities had been devastated by natural disasters, received $10,000 each to help underwrite restoration costs due to damage caused by hurricanes, flooding, and fires. In 2019, the GCA awarded a sixth Restoration Initiative grant to The Garden Club of Honolulu. 

Back in the spring and fall of 2018, Hawaii experienced historic rainfall and epic flooding — 180 inches, the most ever recorded in Hawaii’s history. The island was devastated, along with one of the most remarkable landscapes in the world — the 25-acre Limahuli Garden and 1,000-acre Preserve, is affectionately called “Heaven on Earth.” Limahuli Garden and Preserve is one of five botanic gardens included in the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). 

Today, the grant is helping efforts to replace damaged fences in order to keep feral pigs out of the restoration areas. Feral pigs uproot and trample native plants, spread seeds of invasive plants and trees, and increase erosion, making fences critical. Since the restoration area can only be accessed by a narrow winding trail, the fence repair is slow and materials must be transported by helicopter. The first of the five affected fence sections has been restored with two more, including the largest breach, to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.  

Limahuli Garden and Preserve is located on the north shore of the island of Kaua'i in one of the most biodiverse valleys in the Hawaiian Islands. The NTBG’s president, director, and chief executive officer, Chipper Wichman, was awarded the GCA’s 2018 Medal of Honor for his outstanding service to horticulture.

Dr. Uma Nagendra, Conservation Operations Manager, said, “The restoration area at Limahuli Preserve is a part of Limahuli Garden’s living collections, protecting remnant populations of some of the world’s rarest plants within a living restored ecosystem.” The Garden Club of Honolulu members are proud to have played a part in the restoration.

Photo credits: National Tropical Botanical Garden courtesy of Dr. Uma Nagendra

 

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