Imagine a Native Forest in Your Own Backyard

Botanist Tim Tunison leads attendees through the Niaulani Rain Forest during VAC's 2012 Backyard Forest Restoration workshop.
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Botanist Tim Tunison leads attendees through the Niaulani Rain Forest during VAC’s 2012 Backyard Forest Restoration workshop.

VOLCANO – You could one day look out into your own backyard and see a vibrant, thriving native forest with the learning tools provided by botanist Tim Tunison during his “Backyard Forest Restoration” workshop, held from 9:30am to 2:30pm on Saturday, October 26 at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.

Learn where to begin in developing a step-by-step plan of action and what the long-term requirements of restoring or recreating a native forest are. The day begins within the Niaulani Rain Forest, which Volcano Art Center has been restoring since 1996.


“What I liked most about Tim’s class was that it began in a beautiful forest that is a tangible example of successful restoration strategies,” says Oliver Kinsley, who attended the workshop in previous years. “Tim is very passionate about what he does, an endless treasure trove of information.”

After examining award-winning results inside of the Niaulani Rain Forest, attendees carpool to the botanist’s own backyard inside of the Village, where he is in the early stages of restoring it to native rain forest habitat.

“I explain the nuts and bolts of weed control, how to do it safely and not harm native plants intermixed with weeds. We also discuss how to identify a target forest community to model efforts after, and the important differences between true ecological restoration, replacement communities, and general horticultural landscaping,” says Tunison.

A brief demonstration on how to begin a simple propagation project completes the day. Students take home an informative supplemental CD. Tuition is $15. Pre-registration is required. Contact Volcano Art Center at (808) 967-8222 to reserve your space in the workshop.

This educational offering is made possible in part by a grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Natural Resources Program. 100% of tuition monies are used to help perpetuate the Niaulani Rain Forest for future generations.

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.