University of Hawaii System newsletter

Lyon Arboretum Receives $600,000 to Rescue Threatened Plants

Posted on | January 28, 2011 | Comments Off on Lyon Arboretum Receives $600,000 to Rescue Threatened Plants

woman with plant cultures

Volunteer Libby Dingeldein cleaning rare Hawaiian plant cultures.

The Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation has pledged $600,000 to support the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum’s Micropropagation Lab capital improvement project. This project will develop significantly greater lab capacity and enhance the critical rescue and recovery work the arboretum undertakes to protect and save the most rare of Hawaiʻi’s native plants.

“If we are to meet the pressing conservation needs of the state and the region, a larger, efficient and updated laboratory is imperative,” says Christopher Dunn, director of the Lyon Arboretum. “We greatly appreciate Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation’s support which will have a tremendous impact on the efforts to rescue, recover and rehabilitate threatened plant species in the State of Hawaiʻi and around the tropical world.”

The Arboretum’s Lab, the only one of its kind in Hawaiʻi, is vital in preventing the extinction of Native Hawaiian plant species by maintaining plant and seed bank collections, and propagating plants for use in restoration and reintroduction projects. Currently this lab houses more than 16,000 individual plants and 160 native plant species, which is less than 50 percent of the species requiring protection. The new laboratory facilities will nearly double the size of the lab and provide an efficient working environment more conducive to the arboretum’s critical rescue and recovery research being conducted.

“As we considered this grant to Lyon Arboretum we realized that our appreciation for their efforts in rescuing some of our most threatened species and thereby helping to maintain Hawaiʻi’s rich biodiversity was inspired by the work of David S. Boynton, an esteemed educator, environmentalist, photographer, and friend to Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation,” says Janis A. Reischmann, executive director of Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation.

Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation established by Helga Glaesel-Hollenback.The foundation currently supports five program areas—youth, environment, affordable housing, humanitarian relief and “first generation partners.”

Read the news release.