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Pahoa Regional Park Meeting

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites the public to provide input on the Puna Regional Park that will be built in Pāhoa.

Aerial picture of the proposed park

Public feedback on the park project will be gathered from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility.

The Department of Parks and Recreation plans to build a regional park above the community center and Pāhoa Aquatic Center. Initial survey work is under way.

Active recreational fields, multi-use covered play courts, a walking path and access road are all part of department’s preliminary master plan for the project’s first phase. During the meeting, department staff will present artist renderings, site maps and other information depicting the recreational features called for in the Puna Community Development Plan.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105.

County Moving Forward With New $5.5 Million Pahoa Community Park

The Department of Parks & Recreation is moving forward with planning a new $5.5 million community park on a 56 acre parcel in Pāhoa town. On Jan. 18, members of the Puna community gathered at the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility to talk story about the park, which will be adjacent to the Neighborhood Facility and Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center, right in the heart of Pāhoa.

Councilman Fred Blas, Parks & Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald, and Deputy Director Clayton Honma discussed the plans thus far, and opened up the floor to find out what the Puna community would like in the park.

Suggestions ranged from a perimeter trail with room for wheelchairs and bikes, to a home field for the Puna Panthers football team, to a large gathering place to hold parties, to a disc golf course, to a venue for performing arts.

“This was just the first of more community meetings to come,” said Clayton Honma, deputy director of Parks & Recreation. “We will engage the community all through the master planning process to make sure Puna gets a great park.”

Pahoa Community Meeting on the Puna Park

Parks are great ways to maintain open space and provide gathering places for the community, Mayor Kenoi said. And as the father of three children engaged in team sports, he understands the importance of parks for youth athletics. The lessons taught by achieving goals through perseverance, hard work, and collaboration as taught on the field are priceless throughout life.

“Parks are vital to safe and healthy communities,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We look forward to completing this pu‘uhonua, this safe place for the families of Puna to get away from negative influences and engage in positive activities.”

Pahoa Community Comes Out in Support of New Community Park

Tuesday night at the Pahoa Community Center, Councilman Fred Blas and members of the Hawaii County Parks Department discussed plans for the proposed 56 Acre Community Park that will be located in Pahoa.

The Pahoa Community Center was packed with community members

Parks official talked about the plans for the 56 acre park that included three multi-use covered tennis courts.

Park officials show the blueprint to the multi-use tennis courts

Folks talked about how the parks gave their children opportunity to expand and how the Pahoa community badly needed the facility.  In this video, community leader Aunty Maave talks about how much this is needed.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/lHUz2BJ9oaA]

I asked County Council Candidate James Weatherford what he thought of the proposal and he said:

Pahoa and the surrounding Puna communities need recreation facilities that offer well-rounded opportunities —  indoor and outdoor activities, sports and arts, for families young and old and in between.

The proposed indoor playcourts and athletic field fulfill part of that need.

The perimeter trail, the arts and cultural center, and the keiki play area identified as community priorities are also part of that need and must be funded sooner rather than later.

Community members listen to the presentation and testimony

It seemed as though all of the speakers were very much in support of the park, although one resident discussed the concerns that there was no plans for restrooms which brought a silence to the crowd.

Community member Rene Siracusa spoke up in favor of the park