Every mother deserves a day at the garden

On Sunday, May 13, the National Tropical Botanical Garden will open its doors during the annual Mother’s Day Open House.

The free event is being hosted by Na Lima Kokua, NTBG’s volunteer group on Kaua‘i, and will offer specially designed tours and activities in McBryde Garden in the Lawa‘i Valley.

Three walks have been planned for the day, beginning with the Spice of Life Trail and Bamboo Bridge, the second adding the native plants area, and the third continuing farther up the valley to the Canoe Garden and Big Valley.

“This is a great opportunity for moms and their families to stroll through the garden, enjoy the beautiful plants and relax as a family,” said volunteer coordinator Lea Taddonio in a press release. “Our trail options and activities along the way offer something for every age and ability.”

The tours are self-guided and a map with the three walking options: easy, moderate or a ‘good stretch of the legs’ will be provided.

Interpretive stations will be located in McBryde Garden, where volunteers and staff will share interesting and fun facts on native and Polynesian-introduced plants, as well as the history of the garden and the ahupua‘a of Lawa‘i.

Some stations will have special surprises just for mom. Activities for the children include a Keiki Corner with special “make-and-take” projects so they can create gifts for mom or tutu, and the Kahu ‘Aina art competition, featuring native plants as the art subjects.

The event begins near the valley rim at NTBG’s visitors center across from Spouting Horn, where trams will provide transportation down into the valley. A minimum of two hours in the Garden is recommended.

Trams will begin circling in and out of the McBryde Garden from the center at 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The last tram returns from the garden to the center at 4:30 p.m.

For more information, call 742-2433. In addition to the happenings in the valley, an assortment of specialty items crafted by NTBG’s Oshibana volunteers will be available for purchase at the visitors center.

Family portrait-painting and freshly baked goods will also be offered. “We always look forward to inviting our friends on the island to bring mothers here on their special day. What could be better than a day in a garden?” said Chipper Wichman, NTBG’s director, in the release. “Our volunteers are very excited to serve as hosts, and their hard work and enthusiasm will definitely translate into a day moms will remember.”

McBryde Garden is home to the largest ex situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in existence, extensive plantings of palms, flowering trees, orchids and many other plants that have been wild-collected from the tropical regions of the world.

It is the flagship garden of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a non-profit institution.

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