Setting aside land for parks is usually considered visionary by subsuquant generations. Imagine Waikiki without Kapiolani or the Ka Iwi coast by the Makapuu Lighthouse having a hotel.
The windward side is still largely underdeveloped in this aspect and we are fortunate to still have large tracts of open land that could and should become parks.
Maunawilli Valley-Kawainui Park.
Maunawilli Valley between the golf course and the residential area and the entire back of the valley is still largly intact as a potential regional park. It already supports a trail system, Olomana trails Maunawilli to Waimanalo and Maunawilli Falls. As well Kawainui Marsh as part of the contiguous watershed and should first be crossed with a boardwalk trail and circumvention trails system before and any plans for large structures and tourist like “education” faciliites are considered.
Together these two assets would form a basis of an impressive natural heritage.
Haiku Valley Regional Park
The former Omega site in the back of Haiku and the historic Haiku stairway form an opportunity for Kaneohe to have another regional park along with Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. The Haiku stairs in some repects is like the rock climbing routes of Yosemite or the slot canyons of Zion, both of which are greatly sought after and operate on a reservation system. Preserving upper Haiku Valley and restoring it to a more pritine condtion can be accomplished along with a poetial revenue source like a fee for stair access would secure another special place for future generations.
Parks are open space, recreational opportuniites and preservation that have a value exceeding residential or commercial use, particularly as the land elsewhere is being developed. Parks enhance the life of a community and create greater value for residence and visitor alike and planning for a better future is the best way to achieve it..
Everyone, whether visitor or resident wants to enjoy Hawaii’s natural beauty.
The problem arises what access to such place are in the middle of residential neighborhoods.
Maunawili Falls, Lanikai Beach along with numerous beach and mountain access across the island comes in conflict with neighborhood peace and quality of life.
The idea behind Residential Recreational Zoning is the ability to put the residents interest in first position being so many modern access problems came about long after residential areas were built.
An RR Zoning would be designed to control parking to residents and guest.
This could be done in combination with open parking days and in conjunction with protecting places like Maunawili Falls and the Lanikai Pill Boxes from continuous daily and year round use.
Solving the long term problems associated with beach and trail access suggest better central parking and shuttle access for beach’s. For trail access there need to be designated parking lots and restroom facilities all outside of residential neighborhoods.
Hawaii is notorious for its haphazard maintenance and care of its natural wonders.
RR Zoning is not the end-all solution but can prove to be an important tool to push for better care and preservation of our manmade and natural environment for everyone.
Kaneohe Bay serves as the backdrop to all of Kaneohe and is the natural central feature of the town.
Such a beautiful natural asset should be more incorporated into the Kaneohe lifestyle.
A potential method to draw the economic and social life of Kaneohe closer to the bay would be to establish a land trust for a public Kaneohe Bay Shoreline Park.
Doing this builds first on a shared community vision, then using that to empower the process of navigating ways to making it happen.
Establishing goals and working towards bringing them into fruition is the heart of community involvement.