New Education Opportunities for Artists!

We are excited to announce partnerships with other conservation organizations that will be holding special events for artists to find inspiration for this exhibit.  Please contact the respective organization to register unless otherwise noted.


Maui Nui Botanical GardensMNBG Front Entrance 2

Maui Nui Botanical Gardens welcomes all Malama Wao Akua participants to come and explore the Gardens, FREE of charge, to learn about the cherished plants of Maui Nui  and get inspired to create a masterpiece to be entered into Maui’s only annual native species juried exhibition: Mālama Wao Akua 2017.  The Gardens are located at 150 Kanalo Avenue in Kahului, Maui. Signs at the garden depict which plants are native to Hawaiʻi, but not specifically to Maui Nui.

The mission of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens (MNBG) is to foster appreciation and understanding of Maui Nui’s plants and their role in Hawaiian cultural expression by providing a gathering place for discovery, education, and conservation. MNBG features more than 140 labeled native Hawaiian and Polynesian-introduced plants, and 112 unique Hawaiian cultivars of traditional crops such as taro, sugarcane and banana. Located on a County-owned site adjacent to Central Maui’s largest park and recreation area, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens provides an important educational and conservational resource that benefits local students, residents, various community organizations and conservation groups, and tourist visitors.

MNBG has also developed partnerships with cultural practitioners and local educators to provide workshops for Maui students and members of several Hawaiian culture-based organizations on an ongoing basis. All emphasize the connection between plants in our collection and their role in Hawaiian culture, and we are proud to have accomplished practitioners and well respected researchers lead these classes. MNBG incorporates water conservation techniques like xeriscaping, and provides a place where people can learn about money saving water conservation methods.

Merwin PalmsThe Merwin Conservancy

Tour 7 Species of Maui Native “Loulu” Palms & Other Native Plants at Historic Merwin Conservancy Property.  The Prichardia spp. of palms are the only native palm trees to Hawaiʻi.  These palms face many threats in today’s world and are not commonly seen. These two special tours will showcase these palms at various growth stages both big and small and even showcase some sprouting in the nursery. A Merwin Conservancy staff member will accompany Mālama Wao Akua artists and allow for the time and space to create during each three-hour period in this very special place, still the private residence of W.S. Merwin.

Tuesday, August 15th & Wednesday, August 16th   9am – 12 noon

Contact Sara Tekula to sign-up at or (808)871-5270 (e-mail preferred)

Maui Nui species on display include:

Pritchardia arecina (Maui)
Pritchardia forbesiana (Maui & Molokai)
Pritchardia monroi (Maui & Molokai)
Pritchardia glabrata (Maui & Lanai)
Pritchardia woodii (Maui)
Prichardia hillebrandii (Molokai and perhaps Maui…)
Pritchardia lowreyana (Molokai)

The Marriage of Art & Nature comes to life at The Merwin Conservancy, where an artist has lived since 1977 imagining and creating some of the best poetry of our time while engaging in daily gardening practice and achieving an astonishing feat of land restoration. 

While The Merwin Conservancy is not a native forest, it is a living example of the stewardship and dedication of a very important person, U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin, who is considered one of the greatest poets of our time. Over the past 40 years, Mr. Merwin has painstakingly transformed a completely denuded, 19-acre former pineapple plantation into one of the world’s most important assemblages of rare palm species, including many examples of 14 of the 19 Pritchardia species native to the Hawaiian islands. Pritchardia is the native Hawaiian fan palm, known as loulu. In addition, there is a grove of native hala trees, native fern (moa) and native hibiscus, flourishing among nearly 3,000 individual palm trees from tropical regions around the world, many of which are near extinction in the wild.

Auwahi (83)

Auwahi Forest Restoration Project

Special tour for artists: Monday, August 7th

E-mail to request a spot.  Seating is extremely limited for artists only. All gear should be free of weed seeds, over the ankle boots required and must be in reasonable shape for short rambles.

Disproportionately impacted by grazing, wildfire, and displacement by agriculture and human settlements, tropical leeward forests are among the most critically threatened of ecosystems in Hawai’i and worldwide. Despite their degraded state, Hawaiian leeward forests remain important refugia harboring high numbers of threatened species including over 25% of Endangered Hawaiian plant species.

Auwahi leeward forest was previously known to be among the most diverse of Hawaiian ecosystems. Currently, Auwahi is among the world’s most endangered tropical dry forests with 9 species listed as Endangered with USFWS and 7 listed as endangered with IUCN Red List status. Culturally, leeward forests are highly valued by native Hawaiians for ethnobotanical source materials, especially durable hardwoods for tools and weapons, and species with utilitarian, medicinal or religious significance.


Birdloop_AMW_ArtHike_SmallEast Maui Watershed Partnership Hikes for Artists

EMWP is leading hikes for artists into The Nature Conservancy’s Waikamoi Preserve and on Haleakala Ranch’s Puʻu Pahu Reserve.  Go to this event page for detail information




More information on places to visit, volunteer and books and websites to read to learn about native species at