Kona’s Kohanaiki Beach Park Dedicated

A public blessing, dedication and opening ceremony for the new Kohanaiki Beach Park in Kona was held today at the park’s halau.
Kohanaiki Hale
Situated along 1.5 miles of coastline, Kohanaiki is one of North Kona’s most popular surfing, diving and camping areas. The park’s completion represents years of collaboration between lineal descendants of the area, community groups, the County of Hawai‘i, and Kohanaiki Shores. Ongoing responsibilities for the park will be shared between Kohanaiki Shores, the County and the community.
“This grassroots effort by the community is an excellent example of collaboration between the public, a landowner, and county government. It will ensure that Kohanaiki remains the special place that we have cherished for generations,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Mahalo to everyone in the Kona community who worked so hard to make the opening of this shoreline park possible.”
The park includes bathrooms and outdoor showers, designated camping areas, a halau for cultural practices, improved and additional parking, and improved roadways to and along the shoreline and within the park. Portable toilets, which have been in use while new facilities were being developed, will also remain in place.
“The Kohanaiki Shoreline Park is the result of years of collaboration and negotiation; it represents a willingness on the part of all stakeholders to share in the stewardship of this very special place,” said Hawai‘i County Council member Karen Eoff, who represents District 8. “A Good Faith Agreement, forged in 2003, establishes Kohanaiki as the first County park on Hawai‘i Island where management and maintenance will be a shared responsibility between landowners, County and community.” Councilwoman Eoff has been involved with the project in various capacities since its inception.
Following the dedication, the park will be open daily and available for camping five days a week for up to 80 campers a night. Park hours for day use will be from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Camping administration will eventually transition to the Department of Parks & Recreation, but is currently handled by Kohanaiki Shores. Camping permits are issued at the beach on a first come, first served basis. For more information and for reservations, call 329-6200.
Kohanaiki Park Beach

Kohanaiki Park Beach

“The new park at Kohanaiki is a great addition to our growing West Hawai‘i community,” said Parks & Recreation Director Clayton Honma. “The new facilities make this a safe place for our families to spend time together, and make it possible for more members of our community to enjoy this treasure.”
In addition to improved vehicular access, park goers can use an already established pedestrian trail, which runs the length of the shoreline and is part of the longer Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Beyond the paved turnaround, the trail will be used to access the halau and the southern boundary of Kohanaiki.
“It’s been a journey of diplomacy, compromise, and collaboration,” said Rebecca Villegas, president of Kohanaiki ‘Ohana, an active member of the community partnership that worked toward establishment of the shoreline park. “We’ve created a model for future coastline developments, bridging the gap between government, developers, and community interests.”
A preservation and cultural plan, guided by the lineal descendants of Kohanaiki, is in place to guide the conservation of historic and cultural sites at the park, as well as ongoing cultural practices at the halau.

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