Our Story is a Journey of Hope

About Us

Our Mission on O‘ahu & Maui

Hawai‘i Nature Center seeks to foster awareness, appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of Hawai‘i’s environment by educating children with an interactive and immersive approach.

Branching Out: We teach children about nature

More than 1 million students have experienced the wonders of nature  through our environmental education programs since we took root in 1981. 20,000 children come to us annually as our programs are one of the best things to do on Oahu and Maui, offer more green time and less screen time and cultivate character, compassion and stewardship through science-based learning. More than 100 O‘ahu schools and more than 20 on Maui choose to partner with us as our programs meet State of Hawaii’s Department of Education Standards and our curriculum makes learning fun.

Our Roots

This noble work started deep in a tropical rainforest in 1972 when the Outdoor Circle’s Parks Committee proposed an education center in O‘ahu’s Makiki Valley. Margaret Smith Young of Tantalus was a driving force in its early years. By 1981, the Makiki Environmental Education Center opened and five years later it grew in to an independent 501(c)3 non-profit called the Hawai‘i Nature Center. In 1991, the organization branched out to Maui and established a center in sacred ‘Īao Valley where we offer a vibrant collection of programs. We are an environmental education nonprofit that is not a chapter of a larger organization. We are local and independent and rely on support from friends like you.

Create A Better Hawai‘i

We believe that children hold the future in their hands. It is our kuleana to leave our keiki a better Hawai‘i.

Collaborate for Nature

We believe that partnerships can create exponential change. We are a collaboration of people for nature.

Aim for Zero Waste

We believe in mindful consumption. Together, we can strive for zero waste and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Our Leadership Team

Todd Cullison
Executive Director
Pauline Kawamata
Operations & Volunteer Program Director
Taylor Fujimoto
Education Program Manager
Kapua Chang
Maui Program Coordinator
Robin Chapin
Executive Assistant

Board of Directors

PRESIDENT

Eric Wright
Par Hawaii

VICE PRESIDENT

Lacey Nakaguma
Bank of Hawaii

SECRETARY

Randall F. Sakumoto, Esq.
McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon

TREASURER

Guy Churchill
Bank of Hawaii

PRESIDENT EMERITUS

Piia Aarma
Pineapple Tweed PR & Marketing

POHAI NU‘UHIWA CAMPBELL
Esq., Cades Schutte

TRAN CHINERY
Alexander & Baldwin

G. ROBERT JOHNSTON
Hawaii Pacific Solar

DEE DEE LETTS
Resolutions Hawai‘i

MCKIBBIN MIST
DR Horton

JERRY RAUCKHORST
Retired from Catholic
Charities Hawaii

NATHAN SAINT CLARE
AHL

MICHAEL VACHIO
JL Capital

1,000,0000
KEIKI EDUCATED
108
O'AHU SCHOOL PARTNERS
22
MAUI SCHOOL PARTNERS
927
VOLUNTEERS

Nature calls us to branch out

Help us educate, celebrate and advocate for a stronger bond between people and nature.

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