The Maui Nui Botanical Garden Staff

Tamara Sherrill:
Executive Director

Tamara was the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens' Nursery Manager and Curator from 2002-2005 and helped collect and establish the Gardens’ current collection of plants. She was active with the Native Plant Society during this time, the organization that assisted Rene Sylva in the creation of the Garden in the late 1980’s. She left in 2006 to complete her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. While she attended school, she also worked as a research assistant for the University and as a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She returned to MNBG in 2009. Since 2009, she has prioritized building and verifying the Gardens’ collection of pre-European contact Hawaiian varieties of kō (sugarcane), kalo (taro), mai‘a (banana), ‘uala (sweet potato), and ‘awa (kava). Since 2015, she has been working to improve MNBG’s seed storage capacity to assist natural area managers in Maui County.

Alexa Lasco:
Program Manager

Alexa was raised on Maui and is a graduate of Lahainaluna High School. She holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Alexa has been managing MNBG's programs and events since September 2020.

Cathy Davenport:
Seed Storage
Technician

Cathy joined the MNBG team in February 2020 with the support of Hawai‘i Tourism through the Aloha ‘Āina Program. Cathy has a M.S. Botany from UH Mānoa; over 20 years teaching UH-MC courses such as Ethnobotany, Hawaiian Field Biology, among others; and she’s a retired Hawai`i State Agricultural Inspector. She is part of an ambitious effort to step up our management and collection of wild sourced Maui County seeds, with a special emphasis on coastal species and ‘ōhiʻa lehua. She is now the lead on a project with the USDA Forest Service and Hawaiʻi Agricultural Resource Center to collect and store ‘ōhiʻa seeds that represent all varieties and a broad range of genetic variability on Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi. Samples of the seeds are being sent for disease resistance testing to Hawaiʻi island, with the goal of ultimately establishing naturally resistant seed orchards on all three islands.

Nameaaea Hoshino:
Kalo Varieties Manager

Namea has training in Hawaiian Studies with an emphasis on Hawaiian Language Immersion from the University of Hawai‘i Maui College. From 2011 until the present, MNBG has been working with a grant from the Ceres Trust to create “huli bank” of verified Hawaiian kalo cultivars. More than 60 varieties of Hawaiian kalo are being grown for distribution to Maui farmers and other growers as part of a statewide effort to mālama Hāloa. Namea cares for the Hawaiian cultivars collections of kalo, maiʻa, ʻawa, kō, and ʻuala, leads workshops, and leads the garden volunteer work hour of the weekly "Weed and Pot Club".

Emmely Felipe:
Horticulturalist

Emmely joined the MNBG team as a staff member in February 2020. She has an AAS in Agriculture and Natural Resources from UH Maui College. She has experience with conventional and organic agriculture through her work on campus as an Agriculture Assistant and an extensive knowledge of native Hawaiian plants. Emmely helped with MNBG’s seed storage and plant collection in the Summer of 2019 with Nā Hua Ho‘ohuli i ka Pono as a Kupu member, and among her many duties is assisting with a USDA project to collect and store genetic representation of Maui County ʻōhiʻa for natural disease resistance testing. Emmely leads the nursery volunteer work hour of the weekly "Weed and Pot Club".

Christina Levang:
Grounds and Maintenance

Christina joined MNBG in 2022. Her motivation to continue working with native plants began after volunteering at various conservation groups for a couple years. She is assisting as a nursery propagator and gardener in the public landscape. She has a special interest in medicinal plants and works for the Dragon's Den Herb Shop in Makawao.

Aaron Guerrero:
Grounds and Maintenance

Aaron joined MNBG in 2022 after becoming a Hawaiian kalo varieties grower. He works part time to maintain irrigation, assist with Hawaiian cultivars, and taking care of the native plants. His background is in strength and conditioning and knows how important outdoor physical activity is in overall health and wellness.

Karen Pollard:
Grounds and Maintenance

Karen has served as a student intern, a volunteer, and a staff member at MNBG. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Restoration and is currently in Law School studying water law and alternative conflict resolution. She works part time to troubleshoot and solve plant health problems in the native plant collection at the Garden.

Michael Stevens:
Kupu Member

Michael is serving with Kupu Hawai'i in the Conservation Leadership Development Program. Michael is studying biology at the University of Hawai'i Maui College. He assists with seed storage and field collections, irrigation installation, nursery propagation, Hawaiian cultivars, and general garden duties.

Location
The Garden is located at 150 Kanaloa Avenue in Kahului, Maui, right across from the War Memorial Stadium.
(808) 249-2798

Hours of Operation
Tuesday through Saturday,
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed occasionally for inclement weather and Hawaii State Holidays.

Admission
Members: Free
General: $10
Kama'āina (with Hawai'i ID) & Keiki Under 12: Free

Ways to Support MNBG
Make a Donation Every dollar contributed to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens goes directly towards the preservation of Native Hawaiian Plants and the upkeep of our collection that includes some of the rarest specimens in whole world!

Upcoming Events

Sep
24
Sat
2022
9:00 am ‘Ula‘ula Kalo with Namea Hoshino
‘Ula‘ula Kalo with Namea Hoshino
Sep 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
‘Ula‘ula Kalo with Namea Hoshino @ Maui Nui Botanical Gardens
‘Ula‘ula Kalo with Namea Hoshino Update: No COVID-19 restrictions. Masks optional. Saturday, September 24th | 9am – 12pm Learn about the ‘Ula‘ula family of kalo (taro) with MNBG Hawaiian Cultivars...
Sep
28
Wed
2022
8:30 am Weed and Pot Club
Weed and Pot Club
Sep 28 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Weed and Pot Club
If you love working with native plants, you will love the Weed & Pot Club! This volunteer gardening group meets every Wednesday morning, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Spend...
Oct
5
Wed
2022
8:30 am Weed and Pot Club
Weed and Pot Club
Oct 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Weed and Pot Club
If you love working with native plants, you will love the Weed & Pot Club! This volunteer gardening group meets every Wednesday morning, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Spend...
Oct
12
Wed
2022
8:30 am Weed and Pot Club
Weed and Pot Club
Oct 12 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Weed and Pot Club
If you love working with native plants, you will love the Weed & Pot Club! This volunteer gardening group meets every Wednesday morning, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Spend...
Oct
19
Wed
2022
8:30 am Weed and Pot Club
Weed and Pot Club
Oct 19 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Weed and Pot Club
If you love working with native plants, you will love the Weed & Pot Club! This volunteer gardening group meets every Wednesday morning, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Spend...