Hauʻoli Mau Loa rescues threatened plants with $600K gift to Lyon Arboretum

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Jan 21, 2011

Volunteer Libby Dingeldein cleaning rare Hawaiian plant cultures
Volunteer Libby Dingeldein cleaning rare Hawaiian plant cultures
Plants are grown in the micropropagation lab and used for approved plant restoration projects.
Plants are grown in the micropropagation lab and used for approved plant restoration projects.
“Approximately 90 percent of the 1,400 plant species native to the Hawaiian Islands are found nowhere else in the world. Consequently, Hawai‘i has the dubious distinction of being the “Endangered Species Capital of the World,” with more than 300 plant species listed as endangered or threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
~ Nelli Sugii, Director, Hawaiian Rare Plant Program, Lyon Arboretum
HONOLULU – 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 Hawai‘i’s native plants.
The Arboretum’s Lab, the only one of its kind in Hawai‘i, 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.
“If we are to meet the pressing conservation needs of the State and the region, a larger, efficient and updated laboratory is imperative,” said Dr. Christopher Dunn, director, Harold L. Lyon Arboretum. “We greatly appreciate Hau‘oli 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 Hawai‘i and around the tropical world.”
Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation established by Helga Glaesel-Hollenback.
“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 Hawai‘i’s rich biodiversity was inspired by the work of David S. Boynton, an esteemed educator, environmentalist, photographer, and friend to Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation,” said Janis A. Reischmann, executive director, Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation. “Although we’re facing an uphill battle, we remain hopeful because of passionate individuals and essential groups like Lyon Arboretum.”
Established in1990 the Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation currently supports five program areas: youth, environment, affordable housing, humanitarian relief, and “first generation partners.” The Foundation recently completed a research and planning process that led to two new interest areas within its environmental program: invasive species prevention and environmental career pathways for Hawai‘i youth. The potential in supporting Lyon Arboretum’s Hawaiian Rare Plant Program also emerged during this recent research and planning phase.
“The Arboretum’s Hawaiian Rare Plant Program is the primary living plant and seed storage facility for the government and private conservation programs in the State of Hawai‘i. Their work has a tremendously positive impact on the efforts to rescue, recover and rehabilitate threatened plant species,” said Virginia Hinshaw, UH Mānoa chancellor. “This new gift will make a significant impact on this critical work.”
Please contact Emily Fay at (808) 956-5665 or Emily.Fay@uhfoundation.org for information on how you can support the Lyon Arboretum. You can also make a gift to support their conservation efforts at www.uhfoundation.org/ConservationLabFund.
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. www.uhfoundation.org
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH Mānoa students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. http://manoa.hawaii.edu.
Mission of the Lyon Arboretum
To increase the appreciation of the unique flora of Hawai‘i and the tropics, by conserving, curating, and studying plants and their habitats; providing inclusive educational opportunities; encouraging use by the broader community; and supporting the educational, scientific, and service activities of the University of Hawai‘i. http://www.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum/
Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation established by Helga Glaesel-Hollenback who, in her words, “found great happiness on the islands of Hawai‘i” and through her philanthropy sought “to return the generosity of the islands.” The Foundation seeks to expand opportunities for those less fortunate, especially children, to find hope for their future and seeks to enhance stewardship, preservation and protection of the environment. www.hauolimauloa.org