Mānoa Heritage Center - Native Hawaiian Botanical Garden
Authors: Margo Vitarelli and Michael B. Thomas
Locality: Hawaiian Islands (21.312170, -157.814750)

Founded in 1996 by preservationists Sam and Mary Cooke, the Mānoa Heritage Center is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote the thoughtful stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i. This remarkable site consists of Kūka‘ō‘ō Heiau, a Native Hawaiian garden and Kūali‘i, a Tudor-style house, built in 1911 that is presently the Cookes' private residence. The heiau and historic home are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Surrounding Kūka‘ō‘ō Heiau is a Native Hawaiian garden featuring endemic and indigenous plants, as well as Polynesian introductions. Although Hawai‘i’s indigenous flora is considered a crown jewel in America’s natural heritage, Hawai‘i also has one of the highest percentage of endangered plant species in the world.

Through the Native Hawaiian garden, the Mānoa Heritage Center preserves extraordinary species and promotes an understanding of their use and beneficial properties.  Many of the plants here are on the US Fish & Wildlife List of Endangered Species and the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

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