Maui News

MLK Day of Service at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens

January 15, 2018, 12:59 PM HST
* Updated January 15, 4:04 PM
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Dr. Lisa Sodetani and Dr. David Ulin (Associate Medical Director, Maui) remove weeds from a planting area at the Maui Botanical Garden.

More than 900 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii physicians, staff, family members and community partners across the state continued a 13-year tradition of giving back on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by participating in the Kaiser Permanente Annual Day of Service on Maui.

The event was hosted by Hawaiʻi Permanente Medical Group in collaboration with Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, a nonprofit organization in Kahului dedicated to protecting Maui’s rich native plant heritage.

“Our annual day of service allows us to come together on one special day to give back to the communities where we live and work,” said David Ulin, MD, Associate Medical Director and Physician-in- Charge for Kaiser Permanente on Maui. “We’re proud to volunteer at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, an important local resource right here in Kahului, where families can learn more about native and canoe plants, as well as important cultural practices.”

Dr. Kimmie Ouchi, Chief of Lahaina Clinic, crafts kamani nut whistles with her family at the Maui Botanical Garden.

Volunteers assisted with several projects at the gardens, including preparing materials for a new traditional Hawaiian hale (home) to be built, spreading mulch, building an ipu (gourd) trellis, replanting sugarcane, and collecting seeds from native plants and fruits.

“We’d like to thank the hardworking staff and volunteers at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens for everything they do to help preserve Maui’s environment and culture,” said Dr. Ulin. “It’s a privilege to come back here year after year and see our contributions grow and thrive.”


Today’s volunteer project was part of a larger community service effort with additional service projects taking place simultaneously on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island, and Kauaʻi. They joined thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees nationally, who participated in a “day on, not a day off” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, volunteering their time to honor Dr. King’s legacy of service.

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