50,000 Native Plants Thrive at Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort is home to more than 50,000 native plants hand-selected and planted by our partners at Hui Kū Maoli Ola. The plant nursery transformed our surroundings by removing invasive species and reintroducing plants unique to the North Shore.

“Culturally, the landscape [at Turtle Bay Resort] is like a hub of the North Shore because of the plants,” says Rick Barboza, co-owner of Hui Kū Maoli Ola. “The plants really helped to showcase what the northern Ko‘olau native flora represents, from the high tide mark all the way up to the top of the Ko‘olaus. There are different examples of plants in and around the hotel.”

Now, roughly 58% of the species restored to Turtle Bay Resort are indigenous, endemic or Polynesian-introduced.

“Turtle Bay Resort has been proudly woven into the North Shore community for the last 50 years,” says Tom Donovan, vice president and managing director of Turtle Bay Resort. “In recognition of our legacy and the rich history of our region, we partnered with Hui Kū Maoli Ola to revitalize the roots of Turtle Bay with the native plants that call this area home.”

Check out the gallery below to see a few of the 76 plant species featured in the extraordinary landscape at the resort.

Barboza believes Turtle Bay Resort is “leading the front” in showcasing the native flora of Northern O‘ahu.

“Being able to showcase these plants that are really Hawaiian, to me, only adds to the uniqueness and authenticity of [Turtle Bay] and the landscape,” Barboza adds.

In addition to showcasing native plants at the resort, Hui Kū Maoli Ola helped the Turtle Bay Foundation honor local students at our annual scholarship awards ceremony in 2022. Hui Kū Maoli Ola presented ‘Ilima plants to our three ‘Ilima scholars, who received a $10,000 scholarship. The top-tier scholarship is named after the indigenous ‘ilima papa plant found at Turtle Bay.

Turtle Bay Foundation ‘Ilima scholarship recipient Zane Saenz took home an ‘Ilima plant courtesy of Hui Kū Maoli Ola.

To read more about Hui Kū Maoli Ola’s work at Turtle Bay, please visit this link.