Limahuli Garden and Preserve

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

The Garden and Preserve is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, chartered by the United States Congress in 1964.

Limahuli Garden and Preserve - Photo by Jim Balyszak

Aloha!


Some of the action in A Telling of Ancestors takes place at Limahuli Garden and Preserve, one of my favorite places to visit when we’re on island.


The Garden and Preserve is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, chartered by the United States Congress in 1964. Located in Limahuli Valley, the ‘turning hand’, it's one of two significant valleys located in the ahupua‘a of Hā‘ena and District of Halele‘a on the north shore. Considered a ‘place of refuge’, pu‘uhonua, and second most biodiverse valley in Hawai‘i, Limahuli is approximately 1,000 acres, with a habitat of some 250 taxa of native plants and birds, fifty of them on the verge of extinction and some only found exclusively at Limahuli.


Additionally, numerous archaeological and ancient cultural sites are located here, including restored portions of a once vast agricultural complex of ancient lo‘i kalo, seven hundred year old stone terraces where taro was grown, irrigated by water diverted from Limahuli Stream via an intricate network of engineered aqueducts called ‘auwai.

Listen to the winds which spin and tumble, whispering the secrets of the ‘āina.                                                           Elikapeka Ema Prince, A Telling of Ancestors, Emma Prince Kaua‘i Mysteries

An ancient phrase, ‘He Limahuli ka makani o Hā‘ena’, ‘Limahuli is the wind of Hā‘ena’, refers to the turbulent winds which enter the three-sided valley from the sea and swirl upward through towering valley walls, ricocheting off a high, hanging valley, marked by a steep cliffs, pali, above an intersecting ridgeline.


Emma must embark into the Limahuli Valley through the Garden and Preserve to discover her connection to the ‘āina, believed by the Hawaiian people to be a gift from the akua. It’s also where she listens for the secrets of the land whispered by the winds. Dark clouds are gathering, signaling a brewing storm, or perhaps that the ‘turning hand’ is about to set things right on the north shore—if one believes.

Enjoy!


Journal Note: The north shore of Kaua‘i experienced devastating, historic flooding in April 2018 and Limahuli Garden and Preserve remains closed until further notice as the area recovers.


Bless the dedicated efforts to protect and save these rare, threatened, and endangered trees and plants. May the ‘āina nurture them and once again know their presence—even perhaps their profusion. I hope my prayer will be received.                                                                                  Emma Prince, A Telling of Ancestors, Emma Prince Kaua‘i Mysteries
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