Approximately 70 City and County of Honolulu employees from more than a dozen departments, including Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Council Member Calvin Say and DTS Director Roger Morton volunteered at the Honolulu Zoo on Saturday to assist with beautification efforts and the transformation of an old exhibit area into a bee-friendly citrus garden.Bizgenics Board Members Valerie Wang, Ryan Ozawa and Steve Sue also participated.

The Honolulu Zoo partnered with Bizgenics’ Project Lemon Tree program, which provided 20 citrus trees, including Meyer and Lisbon lemons, Tahitian Lime, Yuzu, Kumquat, Calamansi, Grapefruit, Navel Orange, Tangerine and Jabon. Bizgenics Chairman Steve Sue designed the planting plan as a pollinator garden with flowering shrubs and herb farm, dubbing it the “Bee Friendly Garden,” which is located near the primate islands.

Bee Friendly Garden planting plan, Honolulu Zoo | Bizgenics | Steve Sue

“As the Honolulu Zoo is also a botanical garden, a lot of what is grown on-site accentuates tropical and native flora and edible plants to help supplement a healthy animal diet and population,” said Linda Santos, Honolulu Zoo Director. “Being a year-round, open-air zoo, we have the ability to grow our own grass, fruits, vegetables and trees to use as browse to feed our mammals, reptiles and birds fresh produce daily.”

“Citrus trees are a top sequester of CO2, which helps our environment and supports healthy ecological habitats. The zoo’s homemade compost provides the perfect medium for healthy trees and herbs,” said Sue. “To date, Project Lemon Tree has planted more than 200 lemon trees on 48 school campuses throughout the state, and we look forward to working with the Honolulu Zoo on additional lemon tree and other projects.”

“We are very fortunate to have a generous partner in Bizgenics and really appreciate Mayor Blangiardi, Council member Calvin Say and the City `ohana for spending their personal time to beautify and plant more than 50 trees and shrubs throughout areas of the Honolulu Zoo.

We also appreciate the generosity of our concessionaire, the SSA Group, as well as Meadow Gold Dairies, who provided refreshments for all of our volunteers,” Santos added.

Calvin Say at Project Lemon Tree Honolulu ZooMayor Rick Blangiarti at Project Lemon Tree Honolulu Zoo Roger Morton at Project Lemon Tree Honolulu Zoo Valerie Wang at Project Lemon Tree Honolulu Zoo Ryan Ozawa at Project Lemon Tree Honolulu Zoo