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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Hana garden grows in $4.7 million deal

By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau

An aerial view of the Kahanu Garden property sold by Jim Nabors to the National Tropical Botanical Garden for $4.7 million.

National Tropical Botanical Garden

The National Tropical Botanical Garden announced yesterday the acquisition of 341 acres surrounding its Kahanu Garden in Hana, Maui, from celebrity Jim Nabors, a move that will triple the size of the garden.

The $4.7 million acquisition — which includes Nabors' 200-acre maca-damia nut farm and his Maui residence — will be used to expand Kahanu Garden, protect a substantial portion of one of the Pacific's largest pandanus forests and guard views from the garden's Pi'ilanihale Heiau.

"This will allow us much more ability to study and plant Polynesian crops, as well as to properly interpret the religious and cultural importance of the heiau,'' said NTBG's Chief Operations Officer Kevin Clyde.

Clyde said Nabors' property was on the market for at least three years when a sale fell through about 18 months ago. That's when the garden decided to put a proposal together, he said.

Under the deal, the macadamia farm will continue until the garden comes up with a plan to replace it with native plants. Nabors also will be allowed to use the home for as long as he wants.

"We think he's a great neighbor," Clyde said.

Kahanu Garden is one of five tropical gardens in Hawai'i and Florida administered by the National Tropical Botanical Garden, which is chartered by Congress to advance scientific research, plant conservation and public education. Three of the gardens are on Kaua'i.

Kahanu's collection of breadfruit cultivars, with more than 120 different types, is the world's largest. The Pi'ilanihale Heiau is perhaps the largest heiau in Hawai'i.