Ulu Garden

LICH  – Mohalu Honor Award for Water Conservation 2013

In an effort to help inform and educate the community on the modern practices of sustainable landscapes, Ki Concepts developed a comprehensive master plan to create Hawaii’s first educational sustainable garden, located within the Lyon Arboretum. Aptly named “Ulu“, after the Hawaiian word meaning: to grow, to protect and to inspire. The goal for this garden is to inspire people to grow themselves and their knowledge, so that they can help to protect the environment as well as their communities as a whole.

Ulu’s design incorporates many visually inspiring sustainable practices, such as recycled common waste materials (e.g. tires, glass bottles, wood shipping pallets, metal grates, corrugated metal roofing and stone rubble), rain water catchment systems, hugelkultur (raised beds created from green waste and composting matter which is effective in mitigating water use), edible gardens (of which 100% of the harvest is donated to local foodbanks), native and culturally important plantings, living walls, as well as green infrastructure devices such as a bioswale and rain garden for storm water management. In general, storm water management is a high priority when it comes to trying to alleviate the impact that development can have on a site, and since Lyon Arboretum is located in the highly precipitous site of Manoa Valley, it was a prime location to showcase the benefits of these sustainable landscape practices.

The primary use and the main attraction of this project is the variety of sustainable practices conveyed, many of which are unknown to the general public, but by utilizing no or low cost materials coupled with ease of construction our hope is to inspire the average homeowner to introduce these designs into their own living spaces.