KAHULUI - In an effort to create a new stream of revenue and help financially support Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, visitors will be asked to pay an admission fee beginning Jan. 15.
Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is a six-acre garden located in Kahului across from War Memorial Stadium.
It is Hawaii's only botanical garden that focuses on Hawaiian coastal plants from the islands of Maui Nui (Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini), many of which are endemic and endangered.
The facility is operated and managed by Maui Nui Botanical Gardens Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1995.
The nonprofit is supported by annual memberships, private donors, government grants, private grants and fundraisers held throughout the year.
Although these sources of revenue generate annual income, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens Inc. has a goal to be less reliant on government and private grants and increase its ability to financially sustain itself.
As with other botanical gardens throughout the world, admission fees help bring in revenue.
"We know that this will be a change for our valued visitors," commented Executive Director Joylynn Paman, "and we thank our supporters for their patience and understanding during this transition. We are still, as always, very committed to serving our community. We are trying to be more creative in how we generate funds for our nonprofit, so that we can continue to provide and improve our programs for everyone's benefit."
One day entry will be $5 for general admission and $3 for kama'aina (with valid Hawaii ID). Children ages 12 and under and seniors ages 65 and older will be admitted free. The garden will also remain free to the public on Saturdays.
Members receive an annual admission pass and can enjoy the garden year-round. Maui Nui Botanical Gardens offers different tiers of memberships with accompanying benefits. Individual memberships are $25, family memberships are $35, and businesses can support the garden at the 'Ilima level with a donation of $50 or more. Additional membership levels are also available.
For more information, or to become a member, visit www.mnbg.org or call (808) 249-2798.