Botanical World opened its first attraction, the World Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls, on July 4, 1995 as a botanical garden destination on the Big Island of Hawaii. We now proudly exhibit one of the largest collections of plants in the state of Hawaii with thousands of species available for viewing.
The site chosen for construction of World Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls included the previously concealed waterfalls now known as Kamaee Falls and Hanapueo Falls. The falls are acclaimed by many visitors to be the most pristine waterfalls in the state of Hawaii. Many other smaller waterfalls are also available for viewing on our property. In addition to the waterfalls, the Rainforest Walk is arguably the most peaceful place in the Gardens.
Botanical World continues to expand with new features added annually to enhance visitor experiences in our garden sanctuary. In 2009, the Zip Isle Zip Line Adventure was added as an attraction. This allows visitors to view the gardens from above.
In 2010, a new road and trail were opened to Kamaee Falls, allowing visitors to view the waterfalls and surrounding rainforest from above and below.
Early in 2011, a new trail was constructed to allow visitors access to the waterfalls and rainforest vegetation along the Hanapueo Stream.
In August 2011, the first tours by Segway of Hawaii at Botanical World were offered to visitors. Segway tours give visitors who may tire of walking another way to see more of the extensive gardens.
Lanny Neel, our Garden Director, obtained his Bachelor's degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Fresno State University, then earned his Master's and PhD in Botany from the University of California at Davis.
Starting in 1971, Dr. Neel worked for seven years for the University of Florida Agriculture Research Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he did research on plant production problems encountered by tropical plant nurseries.
In 1978, he joined the staff of a tropical foliage plant nursery in Palm Beach County, where he propagated tropical foliage plants, managed a plant tissue culture laboratory, and developed a field nursery for landscape plants.
Later, Dr. Neel taught horticulture and community outreach programs at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls for 22 years.
In 2004, Dr. Neel was hired as the Garden Director at World Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls, where he oversees a staff of several gardeners.
Dr. Neel has also been appointed to the University of Hawaii at Hilo as an Adjunct Professor of Horticulture.
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