Waimanalo Bay Beach Park saved from land development – AsAmNews
Residents are celebrating the end of a three-year struggle to protect Waimanalo Bay Beach Park’s Sherwood Forest from development.
Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration confirmed Wednesday that it has put on hold its plans to build a sports field, install an irrigation system and build a playground in Waimanalo’s Sherwood Forest on the property. Hawaii News Now reports.
Opponents feared the project would have threatened native species and burial sites.
In 2019, police arrested more than two dozen people standing at the entrance to Waimanalo Bay Beach Park as crews attempted to clear land for the project.
Some residents argued that money should be used to upgrade the current facilities.
“Any facilities that our community members use are going to suck,” said Kukana Kama-Toth, a fifth-generation resident and member of the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board. to the Honolulu Civil Beat. “We don’t have the simple things that other communities have, but they want to give us a new park instead of investing money where it’s needed most.”
Other neighboring areas near Waimanalo such as Kailua and Lanikai had undergone a similar development.
“Kailua is done, Lanikai is done, the last bit is us [Waimanalo]’, Jody Green of Waimanalo told the Honolulu Civil Beat.
The main goal for Friends of Sherwoods was to preserve a “common community resource, protect a sacred ancestral burial site, and defend the habitat of endangered species.” After three years, the community has finally reached its goal.
“We have come to an agreement with the city and they have agreed to end their proposed development of Sherwood Forest once and for all. Above all, they have agreed to do so on our terms” says the latest Friends of Sherwood newsletter. “It is now illegal for anyone, whether they work for the city or not, to make any changes to the park. No activity is allowed without a permit and an environmental impact statement.”
“It’s a tremendous victory just for the country,” said Lanson Kupau, attorney for the Friends of Sherwood Forest. “And it is a tremendous victory for our ancestors. Those buried there are no longer disturbed. And it’s also a victory for the Waimanalo community that uses the park, as well as for generations to come.”
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