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National Public Lands Day celebrated with clearing of invasive species at Ho‘omaluhia

KĀNE‘OHE – Humid, tropical conditions blanketed dozens of volunteers at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden this morning as they cleared invasive species for National Public Lands Day.

Over 60 volunteers from the Army Corp of Engineers (ACE), including 30 ROTC Cadets, removed 40 large bags of invasive Mules Foot ferns (
Angiopteris evecta) and Ink Berry (
Ardisia elliptica) from the garden’s Kahua Kukui section.

This service provided by ACE builds on a decades-old partnership with Ho‘omaluhia and the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The garden was originally designed and built to provide flood protection for Kāne‘ohe using the Kāne‘ohe-Kailua Dam and the Loko Waimaluhia Reservoir. DPR worked in collaboration with ACE to incorporate the garden concept and abundant recreation opportunities to realize a truly visionary design.

Ho‘omaluhia spans 400 acres and is home to over 3,000 species of tropical shrubs, trees and palms, of which 1,700 species are unique and 160 considered threatened or endangered. Like many invasive plant species in Hawai‘i, Mules Foot and Ink Berry damage our native plant populations and ecosystem by choking out native flora and affecting the island’s biodiversity. Volunteer efforts like this are a priceless contribution to the perpetual maintenance demands of Ho‘omaluhia, particularly in the efforts to control or eradicate embedded invasive species.

Celebrating 40 years of being O‘ahu’s largest and most popular botanical garden (receiving an estimated 600,000 visitors annually), Ho‘omaluhia is recognized internationally as a natural setting for residents and visitors alike to experience unique and diverse wildlife, camp, learn about plants, explore walking paths, and appreciate the splendor of nature. These activities truly embody the meaning of Ho‘omaluhia, which in English translates

to make a place of peace and tranquility.”

National Public Land Day (NPLD) is recognized as the largest, single-day volunteer effort in the United States. It celebrates the connection between people and community green/blue spaces, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages the use of open spaces for education, recreation, and health benefits. ACE has been involved with NPLD since its inception in 1994. Looking ahead, they aim to continue their volunteer assistance for NPLD, and other service/environmental holidays such as Arbor Day and Earth Day.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email

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