Hawai‘i Nature Center expands facilities with new Rain Pavilion

March 13, 2013

(Honolulu, Hawaii, March 28, 2013) — Hawaii Nature Center board members, supporters and community participants gathered today to celebrate the blessing of the newly constructed rain pavilion at the environmental education site. The pavilion was made possible through the generosity of companies, individuals and foundations.

“The Rain Pavilion will increase our capacity to serve up to 10,000 more children through our school programs, field trips and the popular Sensational Nature Adventures Program (SNAP),” said Bettina Mehnert, Hawaii Nature Center board president and chief operating officer of Architects Hawaii Ltd.

“We are especially grateful for the generosity of every business, organization and individual who supported the idea and made it a reality.”

Architects Hawaii Ltd. designed the new facility through its 1% Solution program which provides pro bono services to nonprofit organizations. The concept was based on a traditional open Hawaiian “A-frame” structure, with a raised roof that provides natural light and ventilation. Translucent panels were installed on one side between timber structural posts to protect participants from wind-driven rain. The panels also display leaf-shaped plaques honoring donors who made this new facility possible.

The Pavilion is the result of the public and private sectors working together and providing major contributions of pro-bono time and money. The State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources’ participation was significant to the community partnership as they provided the land leased for the Pavilion. The cost for the 1,000-square-foot Rain Pavilion was approximately $190,000.

“This facility will allow us to deliver more programs to both public and private schools, and provide an opportunity to serve greater numbers of low-income school groups. Our programs instill in children a respect for and understanding of the natural world around them,” said Dyanna Okazaki, executive director of Hawaii Nature Center.

Design and construction partners include: Ameron Hawaii, Architects Hawaii Ltd., Associated Steel Workers, Ltd., Beachside Roofing, Englekirk Structural Engineers, GP Roadway Solutions, Hawaii Engineering Group, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Honolulu Wood Treating, Honsador Lumber, Island Pacific Distributors, K&S Welding, Kaya Permit Processors, Kellett Ibbotson, Structural Pest Control, and WE Painting.

Generous funding support for the project was provided by: The GIFT Foundation, Atherton Foundation, Cooke Foundation, Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation and Island Insurance Foundation.

Supporters of the Rain Pavilion can celebrate, recognize and honor friends and family through the Donor Leaf recognition program. Individuals, companies and/or organizations may purchase a leaf (ranging from $250 – $1,000) and have it displayed at the Rain Pavilion. So far, the donor leaf campaign has generated more than $17,000.00.

To support HNC’s environmental education programs through the purchase of a donor leaf, visit the website at to view the donor leaf donation form and program or call the Hawaii Nature Center at 955-0100.

The Rain Pavilion, located at 2131 Makiki Heights Drive, is situated across from the Hawaii Nature Center’s main educational facility in Makiki, Oahu, and blends in beautifully with the surrounding Makiki stream and forest.

About Hawaii Nature Center Established in 1981, the Hawaii Nature Center has been a leader in environmental education in Hawaii for more than 30 years. Our mission is to foster awareness, appreciation and understanding of Hawaii’s environment and to encourage wise stewardship of the Hawaiian Islands by educating children with an interactive and immersive approach. We deliver award-winning programs to more than 15,000 elementary and middle school children from both public and private institutions each year, helping to encourage environmental stewardship through hands-on investigative field study and experiences. Our programs are primarily conducted outdoors in the field, exposing children to a range of ecosystems in watershed, coastal, marsh and forest environments. More than 850,000 children and adults have participated in our programs since our inception.

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