Parks and Winward Prosperity
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..