Windward Community College Medicinal Garden dedication will showcase bioproducts made by students

Windward Community College
Inge White, (808) 236-9102
Department of Natural Sciences
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jun 12, 2007

KĀNEʻOHE— Blueberry wine, medicinal soap and perfume have something in common at Windward Community College: a garden and the handiwork of the students who cultivate it. On Monday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., an official dedication ceremony will be held for a Bioprocessing Medicinal Garden Complex across the road from Hale ʻImiloa, Windward‘s science building. The dedication will showcase various bioproducts made by students in the program and will be open to the public.

The facility is the final phase of an ongoing development plan for Windward CC‘s Academic Subject Certificate in Bio-Resources and Technology: Plant Biotechnology. The Bioprocessing Medicinal Garden Complex offers educational and training resources in agribiotechnology and agribusiness. Along with preparing students for future careers and/or higher degrees in bioscience-related fields, one of the main goals of the program is to stimulate bioprocessing entrepreneurship.

"Many of the plants we grow can be made into a variety of bio-products," said Inge White, botany professor, who was instrumental developing the plant biotechnology program and plant identification facility at Windward.

According to White, these products can be used to treat ailments ranging from dry skin and sore throat to staph infections. Along with flower extracts that can be used in cooking and perfumes, students have produced herbal teas, lotion, assorted flavors of wine, and recipes using the medicinal and edible plants grown at the site.

The garden is host to a variety of organically grown plants from Asia, the Pacific Islands and America. Included in the larger complex is a bioprocessing facility and an aquaponic system, which uses a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics to fertilize the plants.

Students who use the complex have the opportunity to gain a full range of bioprocessing experiences, from raising the fish used in the fertilizing system to cultivating and processing the plants into useful products.

White said, "The beauty of the Plant Biotechnology program is that it prepares students for success in a variety of fields including medicine, biology, pharmacology, pharmacy, horticulture, aquaculture, medicinal botany, and agribiotechnology."

Supported primarily through grants from the United States Department of Agriculture, the Bioprocessing Medicinal Garden Complex is the fourth facility to be built since planning began in 2001. Among the facilities available to students in the program are the Tropical Plant and Orchid Identification Facility - Kuhi Lāʻau, the climate-controlled greenhouse and the Tissue Culture and Plant Biotechnology Lab.

The event, sponsored by the WCC Botany Club and student government, will include a contest with prizes for the most creative plant-themed potluck dishes. To enter, register at Hale ʻImiloa 101 by 10:15 a.m. on June 18.

For more information, call Dr. Inge White at 236-9102 or email at