HONOLULU - The Hauoli 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 Hawaii's native plants.
The Arboretum's Lab, the only one of its kind in Hawaii, 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 Christopher Dunn, director of the Arboretum. "We greatly appreciate Hauoli 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 Hawaii and around the tropical world."
Hauoli Mau Loa Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation established by Helga Glaesel-Hollenback.
Established in1990 the Hauoli 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, Chancellor, UH Manoa. "This new gift will make a significant impact on this critical work."