Plant Pono Program
Pono Endorsement Program
The majority of invasive plants in Hawaiʻi were first introduced on purpose, usually with good intentions. Despite the significant environmental damage already caused by invasive plants, Hawai‛i currently has almost no laws preventing the importation, sale, or cultivation of plant species, even for those already known to be or likely to be invasive.
The Pono Endorsement Program was created to help the horticultural industry address these gaps by making voluntary “pono” planting decisions that benefit the health and well being of Kauai.
What is the Pono Endorsement Program?
The Pono Endorsement Program is a voluntary partnership between nursery and landscaping businesses, Plant Pono, and KISC. We recognize exemplary local nursery and landscaping businesses for their commitment to help safeguard Kauai and ensure they do not accidentally spread invasive species. Endorsed Businesses pledge to stop the sale of certain invasive plant species and to use best management practices that reduce the risk of spread of invasive pests and disease. Customers can confidently support these nurseries and businesses knowing they are making Pono planting choices for our environment.
Nursery and Landscaping businesses are in the best economic position to prevent the import and spread of invasive species and to help their consumers make informed purchases.
Many of the invasive plants we see across the island today are escaped ornamentals that have taken over our native forests and natural areas.
Although there is a large network of programs and organizations working on invasive species. It takes a community commitment to spread awareness not invasives.
Advantages of becoming a Pono Endorsed Business
1. Recognition signage, and stickers, plus educational booklets and brochures for your customers.
2. Tailor-made BMPs that work for you with expert pest advice for LFA, coqui, and plants
3. Promotion of your business on KISC & Plant Pono websites, social media, and events
4. A way to show your customers you care for the island while maintaining a quality brand
Become a Pono Partner
How it works:
A nursery or landscaping business voluntarily partners with KISC to become endorsed. Pono partners work with a KISC to develop a personalized Pono Endorsement Packet with Best Management Practices that work for your business. The nursery or landscape business owners agree to follow “pono commitments” and choose best management practices to prevent the spread and introduction of invasive species.
Pre-screen any new plants using the Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment, to determine a plant’s invasiveness
Disinfect gear and equipment between work sites
Survey and inspect all incoming material for Coqui and Little Fire Ant
Interested in becoming endorsed?
Visit plantpono.org to learn more about how plants are designated as a high risk of becoming invasive using the Hawai‛i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment. Use the database of over 2,000 plants to look up a plant’s evaluated risk and find carefully selected non-invasive replacement plants for your yard.