Two separate organizations donated more than $11,000 to Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens Sculpture Park and Hardwood Plantation recently.
Young Brothers Community Advisory Board gave $1,000, Kaua‘i Aloha, Endowment Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation gave a $10,250 to support the recent miniature Ahupua‘a project.
An ahupua‘a is a pie slice-shaped land division extending from the mountains to the ocean. A mountain waterfall forms a stream that flows downhill past huts, taro lo‘i, sweet potato fields and other plantings into the fish- filled ocean. More than a dozen bronze inhabitants occupy the ahupua‘a and are involved in traditional daily activities that include mat-making, mat-weaving, fishing, canoe-making, planting and hunting.
A walkway allows visitors to see the exhibit from several vantage points. There is also an information board that identifies the sculptures and their activities.
Na ‘Aina Kai is billing the one-of-a-kind display as an invaluable educational tool for students and lovers of Hawaiian history.
Joyce and Ed Doty purchased the property that is now Na ‘Aina Kai in the late 1970s and built their home on it. Over time, their backyard landscaping became so elaborate that they decided the gardens should be dedicated as a botanical garden and open for public tours.
In 1999 they created a nonprofit operating foundation to which they donated the gardens, farm sculpture collection and extensive hardwood plantation.