"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes


The Hawai`i Nature Center announces our newest program

“From Mauka to Makai:
Understanding Climate Change Impacts in the Ahupua`a”

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Registration for Spring 2015 programs will be held in November. A flier will be mailed to the grade level chairpersons at your school with the call in dates and times. The following grade level programs will be offered this spring on O`ahu and Maui:

O`ahu: Preschool, Kindergarten, Second, Upper Elementary (4th, 5th, 6th)
Maui: All grade levels. Third grade programs are only offered in January and February.

Still time to register for S.N.A.P. 2013. Find out more.

Make a Donation & Give Us a Boost!

Aloha for Hawaii Charities

Make a donation to our charity at www.friendsofhawaii.org and your donation triggers a bonus boost for us from funds rasied at the Sony Open by Friends of Hawaii Charities!

Support us today and we get a boost!

    Donation period:
    December 1, 2014 - January 18, 2015
    (4:00p.m. HST)
  • Visit www.friendsofhawaii.org
  • Click on the Aloha for Hawaii Charities icon
  • Select your charity
  • Make your tax-deductible contribution
  • We'll receive 100% of your donation plus a bonus boost from Friends of Hawaii Charities!
Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc.

Friends of Hawaii Charities will provide a one-time gift of up to $100,000 that will be shared by all Aloha for Charities participating charities.

Mahalo for your support!

Sony Open in Hawaii


The mission of the Hawaii Nature Center is to foster awareness, appreciation and understanding of Hawaii’s environment and to encourage wise stewardship of the Hawaiian Islands by educating children with an interactive and immersive approach.

Established in 1981, the Hawaii Nature Center has been a leader in environmental education in Hawaii for more than thirty years. We deliver award-winning programs to more than 15,000 elementary and middle school children from both public and private institutions each year, helping to encourage environmental stewardship through hands-on investigative field study and experiences. Our programs are primarily conducted outdoors in the field, exposing children to a range of ecosystems in watershed, coastal, marsh and forest environments. More than 850,000 children and adults have participated in our programs since our inception.

Located on the islands of Oahu and Maui, the Hawaii Nature Center features programs at various field sites throughout the islands. These include the Makiki Valley Watershed, Pu‘u ‘Ualaka‘a State Park, Honouliuli National Wildlife Refuge, and Pouhala Marsh on Oahu – and also ’Iao Valley and Kealia Pond on Maui.

Children, families, adults and visitors are welcome to exercise their interest in nature by participating in our weekend calendar activities, nature excursions, week-long school intersession programs and our community-based environmental restoration projects.

Our goal at the Hawaii Nature Center is to connect kids with nature – with the hope to inspire within them, as well as their parents, families and teachers, a deeper appreciation for the environment. By fostering a respect for nature, we are confident that children will grow into environmental stewards and impress upon future generations the importance of protecting our planet.

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If you have any questions, please e-mail the Nature Center at hncinfo@hawaiinaturecenter.org or use the e-mail form below.



Become a member of the Hawaii Nature Center

The Hawaii Nature Center encourages you to share the responsibility of our environment. When you join the Hawaii Nature Center you are investing in the future of Hawaii through education of children. Your membership helps fund programs for 20,000 students a year.

Each member receives a newsletter plus advance notices and discount offers on hikes, classes and nature adventures.

Membership Levels

  • Family Membership — $50
    (includes 2 adults and immediate children 17 & under)
  • Contributing Member — $250
  • Sustaining Member — $500
  • Steward — $1000

Download A Membership Application Here

Membership and contributions are 100% tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information on becoming a Hawaii Nature Center member, please call (808) 955-0100 ext. 126.

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On Oahu:
2131 Makiki Heights Dr
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Telephone: (808) 955-0100

View Larger Map

On Maui:
875 Iao Valley Road
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793

Telephone: (808) 244-6500

View Larger Map

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Beneath canopies of trees, in sunny marshes, set beside rushing mountain streams, Hawaii’s children are discovering the wonders of our island home first-hand, hands-on in the great green out-of-doors. You can help encourage children to discover the natural world around them and share your own love of nature by being a volunteer.

HNC Volunteer Opportunities on Oahu
HNC Volunteer Opportunities on Maui

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On Oahu

Do I need to check-in to go hiking?
No. The trails are open from early morning until sunset.
Where do I get a trail map?
You can pick one up in our office, or go to www.hawaiitrails.org and go to O`ahu, Makiki Valley. Also, the State Forestry office has maps. They are located just past HNC on the left.
Where does the trail start?
The trail head is just past the parking lot. The Arboretum Trail, a short interpretive trail, leads up to the State Park area, just mauka (toward the mountains) of HNC. Just across the bridge, the main portion of the Makiki-Tantalus trail system begins.
Are the trails safe?
Yes. Trails are well-marked and maintained by Na Ala Hele, the State trail agency. Note the pig-hunting signs. You may occasionally run into hunters and their dogs. The dogs are required to be under control.
Where do I park?
All hikers should park in the parking lot to the left as you first enter the Makiki-Tantalus State Recreation Area. Parking in front of the Center is reserved for employees and participants of HNC programs.
Are the parking lots safe?
There has been some theft of cars in the parking lot. Please Do Not Leave Valuables in your car.
Is there anything to see or do in the Center?

On Oahu Interactive, interpretive displays are currently being developed. Many of you will remember our fun, hands-on displays in the old Center. Check back with us soon to see if our new displays are up and running. There will be exhibits for both kids and adults.

The Maui site has an Interactive Nature Museum that is temporarily closed. Please check back for information regarding reopening.

Trail Guides
Are there any interpretive trail or plant guides for the area?
HNC, Oahu has a trail guide for the Makiki Loop Trail, one for the Kalawahine Trail, and a plant guide for the Manoa Cliff Trail. There is a small fee for the guides.

HNC, Maui offers a self-guided hike brochure for visitors to use while walking the trails at the 'Iao Valley site.

Facility Rentals
Are there group facilities to rent or reserve?
Individual Activities
Are their things for individuals or families to do on their own?
HNC, Oahu has a fun, cell phone-guided interpretive walk, from the parking lot to the State Park trail head. You can learn a lot about the natural and cultural history of the valley. Also, there are interpretive signs at the State Park area, and along the beginning of the Maunalaha Trail. Besides hiking, exploring the stream, bird-watching and picnicking are also enjoyable pursuits. Pick up a Calendar of Events and join the Nature Center for a scheduled program.

HNC, Mauiu offers the self-guided hike suited for children 5 and over.
Native Plants
Are there any native plants in the area?
There are some native plants at the Center. Also, there is an area of out-planted natives at the beginning of Kanealole Trail on Oahu. In the mountains, the Kalawahine and Manoa cliff trails offer the most native plants.
Does the Nature Center get its funding from the State?
No. We are a private, non-profit organization dependent on program fees and contributions from the public, corporations, foundations, etc. Occasionally we get seed money from the State. Please consider becoming a member!
What is the house across the street in Makiki Valley?
Does someone live there? What about the other houses?
On Oahu, the green house holds HNC’s administrative offices and an apartment for a State Forestry employee. The other homes along the road are private residences that are part of the Maunalaha Hawaiian Community.
What are all the other buildings in the valley?
On Oahu, we share the valley with several organizations. Just past us on the left are the State Department of Land and Natural Resources Forestry offices. Behind us on the right is the State Parks area with rest rooms, water, etc. At the beginning of the access road on the right is the campus of Halau Ku Mana, a Hawaiian charter school. The trailers farther up in the valley, before HNC, are also part of Halau Ku Mana. The Green Machine is behind the State Park area. It recycles HNC’s waste water.

On Maui, HNC sits on 32 acres that are nestled between the 'Iao Valley State park and the County Park.
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2015 Officers

President - Stephen K. Rodgers, Chief Investment Officer & Executive Vice President, Bank of Hawaii
Vice President - Dee Dee Letts, President, Resolutions Hawaii
Treasurer - Ryan Churchill, President, Maui Land & Pineapple Co., Inc.
Secretary - Michele Loudermilk, Esq., Associate General Counsel, Alexander & Baldwin, LLC.
Past President - Bettina Mehnert, President, Architects Hawaii Limited

2015 Directors

Piia Aarma, Owner, Pineapple Tweed PR & Marketing
Jeff Case, Senior Vice President, AON Risk Services Inc.
Rian Dubach, Vice President, Corporate Banking, American Savings Bank
Noriko Harimoto, Public Relations Manager, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
G. Robert Johnston, President/CEO, Hawaii Pacific Solar LLC.
McKibbin Mist, Purchasing and Contracts Manager, Gentry Homes Ltd.
George R. Norcross, Owner, Epoxy Sales Hawaii, Inc.
Julie Rogers, Volunteer Philanthropist, Blue Planet Foundation
Randall F. Sakumoto, Esq., Partner, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP
Jan Sullivan, COO, Oceanit
Susan Yamada, Executive Director, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE)
Andrew Yani, Principal, Bonterra Solar

Hawaii Nature Center Staff


Dyanna Okazaki, Executive Director

Dyanna Okazaki brings more than 17 years of experience in strategic planning and public relations and nearly six years of non-profit administration to the Hawaii Nature Center. She most recently served as Development Director for the Honolulu Zoological Society. A graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle, Dyanna holds two bachelor degrees and has studied abroad in Spain for two years.

E-mail Dyanna Okazaki

Monica Coldwell, Development Manager
Jamie Nakama, Education Program Manager

Jamie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Individualized Studies from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Ecological Anthropology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has over 12 years of experience in environmental education and has developed and implemented hands-on, outdoor science-based programs for students of all ages. She also has extensive experience working with “at-risk” youth and children and adults with developmental challenges. Jamie started as a volunteer teaching docent at the Hawaii Nature Center (HNC) in 2001 and shortly thereafter came on staff as an Environmental Educator. She took on the position of Program Manager in 2008 and currently manages HNC’s education programs on both Oahu and Maui.

As a side passion, Jamie is a part-time lecturer of anthropology at Kapiolani Community College for which she has developed a unique curriculum with a place-based and sustainability focus. She is an active member of the KCC Sustainability Committee, the Na Ala Hele Advisory Council (Hawaii’s Trail and Access program) and the Hawaii Environmental Education Alliance (HEEA). She also loves traveling the world and is a passionate dancer and capoeirista!

E-mail Jamie Nakama

Pauline Kawamata, Volunteer Program Manager

Pauline holds an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Leeward Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies; a Professional Diploma in Secondary Education-Social Studies, and a Master's Degree in Education, Secondary Education-Social Studies from the University of Hawaii.

In 1995, Pauline served on the Network of Volunteer Leaders (NOVL) Executive Council and was President in 2004. She is currently the NOVL Nominations Chair. She is also a member of the Oahu Museum Volunteer Leaders (OMVOL) and is an active advisor and secretary for Sierra Club High School Hikers.

Pauline has been a teacher and curriculum developer for Kailua High School’s Community Quest and Individual Quest Program; a staff advisor for the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)'s Energy Division, and an intern with the Institute for Hawaii History Teachers and Project BEST (Business Encouraging Superior Teaching). She volunteered at the Hawaii Nature Center before becoming the Volunteer Coordinator in 1994. She received her Certificate in Volunteer Management in 2005.

Her recent achievements in volunteer management include the 2008 Volunteer Service Award from the Hawaii Audubon Society, 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, and a 2012 recipient of the Outstanding Citizen Contributor of the Year Award from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Jennie Peterson, Curriculum Specialist and Natural Historian

Jennie received a B.A. in Psychology with emphasis in Child Development from the University of Hawaii. For 15 years, she worked as an archaeologist employed by the Bishop Museum and Hawaii Marine Research, Inc. She has supervised archaeological field teams and has taught high school reading, English as a second language, and archaeology to disadvantaged youths. On her own time, Jennie participates in the Hawaiian Humane Society, the Makiki/Tantalus Community Association and occasionally leads interpretive hikes on weekends.

E-mail Jennie Peterson

Environmental Educators

Chai Blair-Stahn
Kapua Chang
John French
Kristen Gagesch
Shestin Gibeau
Michele Harman
Kate Leary
Charles Lee
Yvonne Line
Kerilyn Liu
Demel McDowell
Nicholas Miller
Kelli Morgan
Elizabeth Newhouse
Lillian Solano
Travis Young


Kelson Lee

Nicholas Nguyen

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