The Hawaii Nature Center will be singing anything but the tune, “Rain, rain, go away,” with the recent installment of a Rain Pavilion at its Makiki location. The 1,000-square-foot structure will offer more educational opportunities for students and visitors interested in learning about the beauty of the islands.
Designed in a traditional open Hawaiian “A-frame” set-up, the structure provides natural lighting and ventilation for participants. The raised roof and translucent panels protect them from those windy and rainy days in the islands. The “A-frame” design resembles the thatched-roof hale (houses) significant of Old Hawaii.
The Nature Center is located deep in the back of a valley, so it gets much more rain than other parts of Oahu. But it’s usually a pleasant rain that’s always welcomed in the lush, verdant rainforest surrounding the center. I live in the very same valley and can tell you first-hand, that there’s nothing more soothing than waking up to a gentle trade-wind shower dancing outside of my bedroom window.
Rain, or ua in Hawaiian, is something so precious to the islands and to the island culture. It was the source of survival for early Hawaiian settlers, who had very little resources upon arrival. From that rain came life; a life in which the Hawaiian people thrived upon for centuries.
I usually venture through the Nature Center on my way to do the nearby hike. It’s a covered trail that loops up and around the valley, but before getting to the trailhead, I always wondered what they were building. Now I know that it’s a $150,000 Rain Pavilion meant for educational purposes. It’s rather large, too, but can still be easily missed if you don’t look up toward the valley wall. I sure can’t wait until the next time I walk by and see that structure filled with dozens of smiling kids!
Photo Courtesy: @HINatureCenter
HAWAII NATURE CENTER • 2131 Makiki Heights Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822 • 808-955-0100 • www.hawaiinaturecenter.org