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Community Park Plans for Kula

Forest and Kim Starr / Flick
Forest and Kim Starr / Flick
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Maui has a lot of hiking trails and a lot of beaches…but when it comes to open park space, that’s another story.  Sports teams often have to double up for practice on soccer and baseball fields.  A proposal to build a new 17-acre park in Kula could make the situation a bit easier, at least for upcountry residents. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is moving forward with plans to build the park and community center in the Kula Residential Lots subdivision.  The area is already home to nearly 400 homestead and agricultural lots, but department officials expect that number to double in coming years.  That would make it the largest homestead region on Maui.

And officials say that’s why the recreational park is critical.  According to a draft environmental assessment published this month, the completed project will feature a number of highlights.  They include a commercial kitchen facility, a native plant nursery, an amphitheater, an athletic field and possibly an outdoor swimming pool.

The Waiohuli Hawaiian Homesteaders Association drafted the plans.  The group wants the facility to be “self-sufficient” through grants and rent.  The commercial kitchen, for example, could be rented out for a fee to local vendors and small businesses.

The entire project is expected to cost more than $20 million.  Work has already begun on the parking lot, kitchen and garden.  The state is paying one and a half million dollars for design and construction of the amphitheater.

The rest of the funding will come from county, state and federal grants, and the project will be completed as funds become available.

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