About Town 4-5-13


Hemmes discusses mushrooms of Hawaii

Don Hemmes, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, gives an illustrated talk about mushrooms commonly found in Hawaii beginning at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lyman Museum. Hemmes will cover both native and endemic species of mushrooms, including those found in rainforests and lowlands that have been introduced to Hawaii over the years.

Other fleshy fungi are in the spotlight as well, including bird’s-nest fungi, stinkhorns, earthstars and puff balls. Hemmes will also outline how to identify a mushroom from its spore print and morphology to place it in its proper genus. For the epicure, pointers will be provided on how to distinguish delectable, edible mushrooms from poisonous species found n the islands.

The museum is located at 276 Haili St. in Hilo. Additional parking is available behind the museum at Hilo Union School. For more information, call 935-5021 or visit lymanmuseum.org.

Mokupapapa Discovery Center moving

NOAA has partnered with a longtime Hilo family to relocate the Mokupapapa Discovery Center to the former Koehnen’s furniture store location in downtown Hilo. The move to the furniture store building is the first step in expanding the facility that provides educational programming about the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and surrounding marine environment.

“With five times more space, we envision creating an education complex that will feature an expanded Mokupapapa Discovery Center, classroom space, a theater and a training center to host workshops with partners from near and far,” said Andy Collins, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument education coordinator, who led the creation of the original center.

Mokupapapa has hosted more than 60,000 visitors per year — including school groups, community groups, locals and tourists alike; to date, more than half a million people have walked through the center’s doors.

Fred Koehnen, company president and a second generation Hilo resident, said his family wanted to give back to the community and believes in the potential of a new and expanded discovery center.

“Conservation and education are important to the future, and that is why we are working with NOAA to make this happen,” Koehnen said.

For more information, contact Collins at 694-3922.