Popular tropical garden attraction reopens

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald A group of women walk toward the next stop while touring the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

  • Leoni Day looks at a flower blooming from a tree at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on Thursday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Miles, Logan and Karyn Hemphill buy tickets for the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

  • Logan Hemphill looks at the map while exploring the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden with his family on Thursday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Cheryl, left, and Alexandra Bock walking through the trees after viewing the Onomea Falls at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

  • Cheryl, left, and Alexandra Bock take a photo of a bromeliad while walking through the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on Thursday. (Photos by Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald)

A year after closing, the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden has reopened to visitors.

According to operations manager Ben Graham, hotel occupancy numbers and recommendations set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control helped the owners decide to reopen to the public on Thursday, April 1.

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“It’s going really well so far, and I think spring break plays into that,” Graham said. “We’ve had a lot of members returning, which has been nice as well.”

People who purchased a membership for 2020 are able to renew their annual memberships with no charge since the garden was closed for about a year.

While the garden was closed, employees were able to improve some trails and take care of the area without the influence of visitors.

“It was a productive time for us, and we were able to get a lot of work done,” Graham said. “This was a good time to revamp our assets, fix some trails, and really allow the garden to thrive without the impact of people.”

The garden, formerly known as Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, has started the process of bringing more employees back as more people visit.

“We’ve already started to trickle people back in, and will scale up our numbers as we recover,” Graham said. “Right now, we are testing the waters to see how sustainable opening will be for us.”

To alleviate any potential spread of COVID-19, the garden has changed some policies and its hours. Masks are required throughout the property, and temperatures will be checked before entry. The visitor center will remain closed.

The garden also is temporarily unable to grant entry to those who require mobility aids such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers and other forms of boardwalk assistance.

According to its website, employees have no way of maintaining a safe social distance to help mobility-challenged guests in and out of the garden.

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The garden will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Email Kelsey Walling at kwalling@hawaiitribune-herald.com

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