OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahomans are saying “aloha” to a new exhibit at the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.

That’s because a new exhibit, Kilauea’s Coast, opened Friday, focusing on Hawaii’s most active volcano.

There’s even a 6-foot working model of the volcano included in the display.

“The staff had a lot of fun creating that,” said Allan Storjohann, manager of the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

The real Kilauea (pronounced “kee-lou-ey-ah”), which means “spewing” in Hawaiian, has been in a state of constant eruption since Jan. 3, 1983.

“The horticulture staff has done an awesome job creating our own active volcano from scratch,” said Janet Latham, Myriad Botanical Gardens horticulturist. “Of course, we can’t quite equal Mother Nature, but we can create a nice facsimile.”

The new display highlights the ecosystem surrounding the volcano.

A number of new plants are included, including flowering hibiscus, pineapple, coffee plants and canoe plants.

The North Lobby at the bridge has been transformed into an island oasis with interactive activities for children of all ages. Guests can strum a ukulele or try hula dancing in a grass skirt.

“People are going to find a lot of fun and exciting things,” Storjohann said.

“Hawaii brought to Oklahoma City — how could that not be a must-see this summer?”

More than 1,000 species of plants live in the Crystal Bridge, representing every continent except Antarctica.

The exhibit includes two zones, a tropical rain forest and a dry tropical zone.

The Crystal Bridge underwent a $2.4 million facelift earlier this year, Storjohann said. Improvements include new stairways, landings and hand rails through exhibit areas. Many portions are wheelchair accessible.

(Alice Collinsworth may be reached via e-mail at acollinsworth@edmondsun.com.)



If you go

Kilauea's Coast runs through Dec. 31.

Crystal Bridge hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children 4-12. Admission to the outdoor grounds is free.

For more information, call 297-3995 or visit www.myriadgardens.com.

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