Very different in atmosphere but similar in mission is Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, located right in the center of Maui's busiest town, Kahului.
Focused strictly on Hawaiian plants, this garden makes no distinction between the conservation of plant species and the conservation of native culture. Lisa Schattenburg-Raymond, director of the garden, says, "Our mission is to help people understand the living Hawaiian islands of today. By bringing together the plants of Maui Nui - our immediate environment of Maui, Moloka'i, Lana'i, and Kaho'olawe - we serve as a center for environmental education and as a place where Hawaiian cultural expression can flourish."
A nonprofit project supported by community memberships and grants, the garden works in partnership with local conservation groups such as the Hawaii Rare Plant Recovery Group and the Maui Invasive Species Committee. Its projects include hosting workshops in the use of native fibers and dyes, providing sales of Hawaiian plants to the local gardeners, and donating native plants to a variety of wilderness restoration projects.
The garden is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and major holidays. Admission is free.