Waimea Valley is an outdoor botanical garden located on the remote North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. As the last remaining ahupua’a (a land subdivision that reaches from an ocean to a mountain) on Oahu, it features a mile-long path with rare, exotic plant species. Waimea Valley is now run by a non-profit organization appointed to protect and teach about the land.
In this remote area of Hawaii, with no recording facility nearby, our Digital Media team conducted and recorded interviews onsite, outside—seemingly a challenge for acoustic clarity due to environmental factors. But instead of a compromised production, this approach embedded the importance of the physical surroundings: sounds of rare birds, ambient noises of nature, even traditional chants which necessitated being outside to retain their authenticity.
The narration focuses on native plants, farming techniques developed on the island, and the connections between land and Hawaiian cultural identity. It offers new viewpoints and offers new ways in which visitors can engage with the environment and its history.
With the introduction of an Antenna audio tour as the main interpretive vehicle, locals and visitors alike are now engaged with the exceptional natural beauty of this world-class botanical garden. Even better, many now see and learn about the archaeological treasures of the path, which were previously overlooked.