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A little history about the project: The Temple was constructed on January 23, 2000 at a prominent location in the center of Kailua-Kona on the volcanic slopes of Hualālai. Being one of only two temples in Hawai‘i, it was built with care and great significance to represent Hawai‘i. At the time it was built, it was the 70th operating Temple in the world. Today, there are 136 operating temples around the world with over 14 million members worldwide. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in Hawai‘i in 1850.

The landscape was designed to represent Hawai‘i through the planting of Native Hawaiian plants and plants recognized in the Hawaiian culture. Circulation was essential to provide access around the entire 10,700 s.f. Temple. The pathway was also a pleasant way to travel from the parking lot to the Church and administration offices. But most of all, it was designed to provide pleasant gathering spaces for parishioners and visitors to sit, get together, and be part of the Church.

The majestic Royal Palms continue to amaze in their grandness and greet visitors properly as if they were royalty! They represent a landscape that connotates its importance in the community. They were planted to help to mitigate and to support the 219 foot tall white marble Temple. The white trunks of the Royal Palms perfectly complement the grandeur presence of the Temple. Beneath the Royal Palms are vibrant, drought tolerant ‘Temple Fire’ and Purple Bougainvillea to mark this impressive entrance. Once in the temple grounds, a pleasant feeling of peacefulness and tranquility prevails.

A traditional Hawaiian landscape was the key of this project’s design, and this was achieved by planting a variety of native species, plants used in the Hawaiian culture, and plants often associated with our tropical paradise. The long functional leaves of the Hala trees seem to beckon parishioners into the Temple.

The feeling of peace and tranquility are often associated with the Temple and the landscape is one of the main elements in evoking these moods. It sets the tone and image for a place of worship and a time for reflection.

As parishioners and visitors stroll through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints property, their pace slows down as they begin to absorb the beauty of the landscape and all that the blessed grounds have to offer.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received an Award of Excellence from the Betty Crocker Landscape Awards, sponsored by Scenic Hawai‘i in 2012.

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