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HFIA, Hawai‘i Forest Institute (HFI), and community partners are planning the Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest, which will be created at the Honolulu Zoo in Waikiki on the Island of O‘ahu. The project site is located near the zoo entrance, adjacent to the future site of a Native Hawaiian Village. The Discovery Forest will be a representation of natural systems, creating a scene of Hawai‘i before the arrival of humans. The exhibit will be designed to demonstrate culturally significant Hawaiian plant species, the significance of place, and the kuleana of mālama ‘āina by integrating traditional Hawaiian forest ecosystems, forest stewardship opportunities, and innovative land-based education for residents and visitors.

Progress to Date

The topographical survey has been completed and Leland Miyano has completed the schematic design plan. PBR Hawaii has completed the landscape plans and submitted them for permitting. The Special District Permit (Minor) and Erosion Control Report have been approved.

Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest Topographical Survey

Online Interactive Identification Guides

Plant Identification Upland Native Forest Birds Other Forest Fauna

Project Supporters

HFIA received a $49,100 Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) Natural Resources Program award, administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA).  The Hawai‘i Forest Institute was awarded $25,000 from the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, $10,000 from the Pettus Foundation, and $20,000 from the Cooke Foundation.

Others committed to assisting with the project include:

City and County of Honolulu Department of Enterprise Services Honolulu Zoo
Conservation Council of Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center
Kualoa-Heeia Ecumenical Youth Project
Mānoa Heritage Center
O‘ahu Resource Conservation & Development Council
Paepae o He‘eia
Polynesian Voyaging Society
Scenic Hawaii, Inc.
The Outdoor Circle
University of Hawai‘i (UH) Dept. of Agronomy & Soil Science
UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


To learn more, click here: Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest

Honolulu Zoo Landscape and Irrigation Plan

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