Who we are.

The Friends of Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission of protecting and invigorating the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden created for the purposes of:
  • Raising funds to help support the purposes and goals of the Garden
  • Working with government officials, NGOʻs and other interested parties to ensure and enhance the Garden's future
  • Fostering public understanding, enjoyment, and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and our community forest
  • Providing volunteers for important Garden projects


Our Garden Director

Kimberly Kahoʻonei


Kimberly Kahoʻonei was born and raised in Kōloa, Kauaʻi and is now a resident of Kealakehe, Kona. She has been in the realm of non-profit for nearly 10 years in hopes to serve and involve the greater community. She is honored to take on this role as Director to bring Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden back into the forefront of the Kona community. Aside from her kuleana at the Garden, she is also a key agent in the start up of the non-profit organization of Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa, also working as their Coordinator. She has previously worked as a Director in non-profit, focused on providing resources/programs for at-promised youth in West Hawaiʻi. She is a kapa practitioner and is a part of a small hui of wāhine perpetuating the practice of kuku kapa in Hōnaunau. Kimberly is the Treasurer of the Nā Hoa Aloha o ka Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau Board of Directors and supports the efforts of restoring/perpetuating kapa practices of the Hale o Papa there for the sake of her childrenʻs genealogical ties to that place. Alongside kuku kapa, Kimberly also enjoys to aloha a mālama ʻāina, ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, weight lifting, and being a mother to her three girls. Kimberly has always felt that the garden is a part of her ʻohana, initially introduced through her husband, a former limahana at the garden, and continued fostering relationships with the garden staff throughout the years. Fun Fact: Kimberly got married at the Garden in December 2015.



Our Officers are


President:                       Maile Melrose
Vice-President:             Noa Kekuewa Lincoln

Secretary:                       Marie Morin
Treasurer:                       Pat Todd

On Our Board of Directors are


Michael Bell                                                          M.E. “Meg” Greenwell

Ashley Kaiao Obrey                                             Shirley A. P. (Cho) Kauhaihao

R. Kealohapau‘ole Manakū (Kealoha, Roz)    Louis Putzel (Lou)

Alan Rolph                                                             A. Rose Schilt

Nathan Smith                                                       Marcia L. Timboy

Kanani Wall


Board of Directors, Biographical Statements


President - Maile Melrose


As Amy Greenwell’s cousin and loyal Kona resident, Maile feels an obligation to help this Garden survive. She is a recognized historian, researcher, author, speaker and noted living- history storyteller, with a background in Anthropology and Hawaiian Studies. For many years, she has written for local papers such as the Waimea Gazette and KHS. Associated with Kona Historical Society for over 20 years, Maile is interested in all aspects of Kona’s rich history, and recipient of the Hawai‘i Loa Chapter of the DAR 2016 Historic Preservation Medal. She emphasizes that no place on the island does a better job of illustrating the important relationships that Hawai‘i’s people developed with their plants than this outdoor classroom and cultural treasure house. "It deserves to be saved, protected and preserved for the future."


Vice President - Noa Kekuewa Lincoln


Noa is a Native Hawaiian born in Kealakekua. He is the former Ethnobotanical Educator of the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. He has worked extensively in plant conservation, ecosystem management, and indigenous food issues in Hawai‘i and around the Pacific Rim, as well as Brazil and the American Southwest. Much of his current research examines the traditional Hawaiian rain-fed agricultural systems, and how traditional agricultural practices affect nutrient cycling and productivity. He is the lead scientist for several Hawaiian agricultural sites, such as Ulu Mau Puanui and Māla Kalu‘ulu. He has a BS from Yale University in Environmental Engineering, and a PhD from Stanford University in Interdisciplinary Resource Management. He is currently Assistant Professor of Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems with the University of Hawai‘i. He has done extensive work on indigenous Hawaiian sugarcane varieties, many of which are at the Garden, and his book is being published by the University of Hawai‘i Press.


Secretary - Marie Morin


As a conservation biologist, Marie has a Ph.D. from the University of Hawai’i, and has worked with native and endangered species throughout her career with various agencies and educational institutions. Since 1980 she has resided and worked on O‘ahu, Oregon, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i Island. Marie’s support of the Garden stems from her long-time interests in Hawaiian culture, the perpetuation of endemic plants and animals, and sustainability through locally-sourced food and energy. One of her favorite quotes: “Grow where you are planted.”


Treasurer - Pat Todd


As a new landowner in Captain Cook and a long-time volunteer, Pat feels the responsibility to be a good steward of the land and place where she is honored to live. Working for the benefit of Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and its future is a passion. A love of living museums was instilled through volunteering for many years at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Pat has lived all over the world and was first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands as a child when she was living in Saipan and Kwajalein. She is grateful to now be living in “paradise.” She previously worked in corporate America in human resources. Pat is a graduate of Indiana University.



Michael Bell


Big Island born and bred, Michael is a lifelong resident of Hawai'i. He graduated from West Hawaii Explorations Academy and was raised in the tourism industry. He is currently employed as the general manager of his family’s business, Body Glove Cruises. In this position, he was recognized in 2018 by Pacific Business News “40 Under 40” for the State of Hawaii. An active community service volunteer, he currently serves as Vice President for the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawai'i (STAH) and a board member for Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai'i (VASH), and Community Forums. He is also a former board member of the Kailua Village Business Improvement District (KVBID), and currently chair of the Program Services Committee. In 2021 he was appointed to the Hawaii County Water Board by Mayor Roth to represent District 7.


M. E. "Meg" Greenwell


Meg is a niece of Amy B. H. Greenwell and remembers visiting her at her residence and garden property. She is President of the family corporation, Kealakekua Ranch, Ltd., of which Amy was a Director and Treasurer for many years before her death. Kealakekua Ranch/ChoiceMart received the competitive 2016 Statewide Family-owned Business of the Year Award through the Small Business Administration. Through her personal enthusiasm and recognized leadership, Meg carries forward a generations-long concern for serving Kona through family business, promoting local jobs and local foods, and also advancing charitable interests and community events. Kealakekua Ranch, Ltd. donated the land on which the Visitor Center is located and is very interested in the Garden and committed to seeing it service the community again.


Ashley Kaiao Obrey


Ashley was raised in Hōlualoa, Kona, where she can trace her ‘ohana back generations.  A graduate of KS, Pepperdine University, and the William S. Richardson School of Law, Ashley currently works as an asset manager for Kamehameha Schools’ expansive South Kona agricultural and conservation lands.  Previously, she served as a staff attorney at the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation in Honolulu, where she represented clients on issues dealing with land, water, and natural and cultural resources, and as a law clerk to Chief Justice Moon at the Hawai`i Supreme Court.  Ashley is a mom to a four-year-old who attends preschool at Pūnana Leo O Kona and an ‘ōlapa of Hālau Kaʻeaikahelelani in Keauhou.  She loves spending time on the ‘āina and at the kai, learning new things (especially nā mea Hawaiʻi), working out, ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi, and, most recently, growing Native Hawaiian plants at home.  Ashley is excited to see the renewed impact that the Garden will have on our community, our keiki, as well as the preservation and perpetuation of traditional Hawaiian knowledge. 


Shirley A. P. (Cho) Kauhaihao


Shirley has volunteered at the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden for 15 years. She was the lead organizer for the cleanup of coral graffiti along Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway – this cleanup was completed in approximately three years of Sundays. She is a Master Weaver, member, and past president of Ka Ulu Lauhala ‘o Kona, the annual weaving conference, and has participated in events in Hawai‘i and Washington, D.C. She is also a chef of Hawaiian cuisine, assisting top chefs in our state. Shirley’s family ties and commitment to the Garden go back decades.


R. Kealohapau‘ole Manakū (Roz, Kealoha)


Roz moved to Hawai‘i Island 14 years ago, and is home. On O‘ahu she was a partner in Na Mea Hawai‘i/Native Books and volunteered by reading to residents of Lunalilo Home; on Hawai‘i Island she worked with an organization to prevent abuse to children. She now enjoys photographing plants and the ‘āina and volunteers at the Garden -- she has been doing this prior to the closure of the Garden up to the present.


Louis Putzel (Lou)


In 2018 Lou and his partner permanently relocated to their Ka’awaloa Trail Farm in Captain Cook. Lou is a farmer, consultant, and freelance researcher. He has a Master of International Affairs degree in Environmental Policy Studies from Columbia Univ. with a certificate in Conservation Biology from the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation. His doctorate is from City University of New York through a joint program with New York Botanical Garden, where he was based at the Institute for Economic Botany. Lou is an Associate of the Center for International Forestry Research; an Advisory Committee member of People and Plants International; and a Society for Ecological Restoration-certified ecological restoration practitioner. His main interest is people-centered restoration of productive landscapes thru agroforestry, assisted natural regeneration, and managed ecological succession. He has done research in Peruvian Amazonia, Africa, and China. In 2019 Lou and his partner were named “Cooperator of the Year” by the Kona Soil and Water District for the restoration work of their farm’s flora and soil with support from USDA NRCS and family and friends.


Alan Rolph


Alan is ecstatic about his return to the Big Island. He was born in Honolulu, moved to New Zealand and returned to the Big Island to attend High School at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He graduated from Denison University and the University of Cincinnati with a Masters degree in Geology. His career with Shell Oil took him worldwide in search of energy resources. He is now retired and enjoying woodworking and making improvements to a 5-acre property and home in Captain Cook.

He has always had great love for nature and history. He is a descendent of then Cooke family who arrived with the 8th company of missionaries to Hawaii in 1837. The Amy Greenwell Garden holds a very special place in his heart as his mother, Dorothea Rolph, worked with the garden in its early years helping to propagate and grow native Hawaiian plants. He is looking forward to continuing this work of maintaining and preserving this region’s native plants and their cultural history entwined with the people of the Big Island.


A. Rose Schilt


As a community advocate, with Master’s degrees in anthropology/archaeology and public health, Rose has worked in Hawai‘i, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, and the US Midwest. She brings 12 years of experience as a nonprofit executive director and Weinberg Fellow, focusing on public health advocacy and policy for youth and families. She directed archaeological projects throughout the islands and believes in the relevance of the past to the present. Rose served as the second director of the Garden in the 1980’s, helping to develop it for opening to the public, and is now committed to ensuring that it serves as a cultural and educational center for a sustainable future.


Nathan Smith


Now a resident of Kealakekua, Nathan believes that “The Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is a unique and irreplaceable gift — from Amy, from many years of stewardship by the Bishop Museum, and from years of care by Garden Staff and Volunteers. The time has come for our community and island to preserve this gift and bring it to its full potential." He has been a commercial real estate and energy attorney in Portland Maine for 35 years. As an attorney he has received many peer recognitions including being listed in Best Lawyers in America for the past 15 years. Nathan has worked on numerous land conservation transactions and was the first person in Maine to receive the National Park Service’s ‘Conservation Hero’ Award in 1993. He has been a community leader for decades, which has included holding leadership positions in a broad spectrum of community organizations as well as serving on the Portland City Council for two terms and as Portland’s Mayor in 2003-4.


Marcia L. Timboy


Marcia grew up in Kona on Moku o Keawe with a childhood full of island-style activities (ocean swimming, body boarding, fishing, surfing, hula, camping, hiking, and exploring our natural island environment), all of which shaped her reverence for nature and respect for island cultural diversity. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UH Mānoa. Marcia has been a lecturer at UH Hilo Art Dept.; Manager for a Contemporary Arts and Crafts Gallery; a grant writer for several non-profits; stage Manager, Events Planner, and Coordinator for cultural, arts, performance, and environmental projects; President of the Big Island Dance Council; a Resource Instructor in the SFCA Artists-in-the Schools Program; Museum Assistant at the Lyman House Museum; former Executive Director of the East Hawai’i Cultural Center, and a practicing artist and performer. As an Events Planner on the Big Island, Marcia has developed programs implementing Hawaiian culture and practices. During her tenure at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, Marcia developed and managed HMH’s signature Hawaiian music series. Several of her stories have been featured in the Hawai’i Island magazine, Ke Ola: https://keolamagazine.com/category/writers/marcia-timboy/


Kanani Wall


Kanani was born in Kona, attended Konawaena High, and grew up playing under the bleachers at Greenwell Park. She spent much of her childhood on her Grandpa’s coffee, macadamia nut, vegetable, and anthurium farm, where she learned mālama ‘āina. Her father ran a glass-bottom boat in Kailua Bay, where she grew a deep love and respect for the ocean and its biodiversity. Kanani and her husband just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. They have 6 children between the ages of 14 and 29, and they are the sixth generation paniolo on Wall Ranch.


Kanani is a Counselor with Kamehameha Scholars Program and a Learning Success Coach with the Kamehameha Schools Kāpalama Campus supporting distance learners. She received a BA in Education from the University of the Pacific and a Master of Education from UH Mānoa in Curriculum Studies. She has worked as an elementary school teacher and as school administrative staff, as well as in community education. She has spent time in the Garden as an educator with groups that she brought, as well as a volunteer with an afterschool group known as Hua o Ke Ao.



Friends Bylaws
This is how the friends are organized.
Adobe Acrobat Document 107.7 KB