Ur­ban Gar­den Sprouts New Bunny Patch

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Front Page - By ALANA FOLEN

The Ur­ban Gar­den Cen­ter in Pearl City springs into full gear this Satur­day with the grand open­ing of the Alika Rab­bit Gar­den, the new­est ad­di­tion to its Chil­dren’s Gar­den. Fes­tiv­i­ties are planned from 9 a.m. to noon and will be the fo­cal point of the cen­ter’s Sec­ond Satur­day at the Gar­den.

Vol­un­teers and staff from UH Manoa’s Col­lege of Trop­i­cal Agri­cul­ture and Hu­man Re­sources have been work­ing dili­gently on the gar­den for the past six months and are ex­cited to un­veil the multi-sta­tion ed­u­ca­tional ad­ven­ture based on Beatrix Pot­ter’s The Tale of Peter Rab­bit.

“We re­ally want fam­i­lies to come out to the gar­den and take part in a free, self-guided tour of the Alika Rab­bit Gar­den,” said vol­un­teer Bea Sailer. “There are 10 dif­fer­ent sta­tions with their own story line and ac­tiv­i­ties to do that re­late to The Tale of Peter Rab­bit.”

For in­stance, keiki and their fam­i­lies can search for rab­bits while iden­ti­fy­ing a va­ri­ety of plants and wa­ter­ing them as well. At an­other sta­tion, vis­i­tors will have to make tea for Alika Rab­bit to soothe his stom­ach ache by pick­ing

herbs from the gar­den.

“This is a very ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for both adults and kids be­cause we have un­usual plants here that peo­ple don’t or­di­nar­ily see, like Olena, Roselle, Grena­dine Joy Weeds, Choco­late Chip Ajuga, Dwarf Tiare and more,” Sailer ex­plained.

Vol­un­teer Richard Kara­matsu added: “It’s a real eye-opener to what a gar­den ac­tu­ally is. Many young kids don’t know where veg­eta­bles come from or what a gar­den looks like.”

Live rab­bits will be on ex­hibit ad­ja­cent to the Alika Rab­bit Gar­den, and a few lucky keiki may win seed pack­ets to start their own crops.

In ad­di­tion to ex­plor­ing the gar­den, vis­i­tors can par­tic­i­pate in tours around the cen­ter, hands-on crafts and learn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Once fam­i­lies re­al­ize how easy it is to gar­den, they won’t al­ways have to go to the store to buy their fruits and veg­eta­bles,” Sailer stated. “We hope to in­still a love for gar­den­ing and get kids and adults ex­cited about gar­den­ing and plant­ing a seed.”

The Ur­ban Gar­den Cen­ter is lo­cated at 955 Kame­hameha Hwy., just makai of Home De­pot. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 453-6050.

Terry Higa (right) and other vol­un­teers dec­o­rate bins with col­or­ful scenes from the tale of ‘Alika Rab­bit and Un­cle Kimo’s Gar­den’ in prepa­ra­tion for the open­ing of the new in­ter­ac­tive Alika Rab­bit Gar­den this week­end at the Ur­ban Gar­den Cen­ter in Pearl City. Photo cour­tesy of UH Manoa Col­lege of Trop­i­cal Agri­cul­ture and Hu­man Re­sources.

Vol­un­teers Wendy Koja (left) and Richard Kara­matsu, and Bea Sailer, Glen Cordeiro and Miguel To­ladano (be­low, from left) tend to veg­eta­bles and other crops in the new Alika Rab­bit Gar­den at the Ur­ban Gar­den Cen­ter. Pho­tos cour­tesy of UH Manoa Col­lege of Trop­i­cal Agri­cul­ture and Hu­man Re­sources.

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