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Ha‘ena Beach Park

Ha‘ena Beach Park sits directly across from Maniniholo Cave, just on the Ha‘ena side of Manoa Stream. It is a popular locale for visiting backpackers.


Ha‘ena is rich in sites of sacred and legendary importance. In modern, planning parlance, these are often referred to as "cultural resources." But for Hawaiians they retain a powerful significance that makes their use as "resources"--especially for tourism--problematic. Carlos explains how the Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana intends manage these sites of cultural and spiritual importance:

"We are highlighting all the different cultural features, like the Ka Ulu a Paoa heiau, and the hula platform, that are part of the story of Lohi‘au and Pele, as well as this huge lo‘i complex and area that was under cultivation and part of the sustenance of the people of this area. Up until the sixties even, part of it was being used for taro.

"Members of our organization would then become the interpreters of this area. Part of the mandate of "recreation" is to have interpretation. So we're trying to position ourselves to become interpreters, but in order to do that, we have to re-educate ourselves, because many of our community members don't remember, they know a lot about the area.



A Taste of Paradise

This "smoothy" wagon is a regular fixture across from the caves and the beach park, provides a useful service to park users but contrasts with the rich Hawaiian tradition that could be emphasized in this area.


"We need people to be interpreters, to be able to deal with other people. There is a Visitors Center that is planned for this place. We need people to man the Visitors Center and run the business of collecting the money and issuing permits, and helping tourists find the way, and giving them information about the area.

"We would like to include an educational center where people can come and stay overnight, like the one that exists up in Koke‘e. There, groups of teachers and students will come in and stay a weekend, and learn about the area, about the park, and the cultural history, and anything else that we want to educate them about. That's one of the things that we want to see built, but it will take years to get that kind of thing done."



Cars at Ke`e Beach

"Avoidance" no more. Ke‘e now has the opposite problem: too many visitors, not enough parking.


The scenic beauty of the area, in addition to the beach parks, draws many visitors to the end of the road, and their cars choke the narrow way to Ke‘e. Rejuvenating the quality of this sacred area is no easy task: "There is a parking lot on the map right now--it has not been constructed yet, but there is a dirt lot near there, because some of the parking lot near Ke‘e Beach has been roped off. People used to park all over the place, down around the old bathrooms.

"What we'd like to do is put a gate here and make everybody park in that outside lot, and nobody would drive down to Ke‘e. The rest of the park would be for walking, and maybe have a place where wheelchair guys can go down."



"We are doing research to bring out as much as we can about the area, so we can educate our own group, as the people who educate the rest of the people who come to visit this place. So we hope to become the host group, whose kuleana or stewardship is this area, even though we don't own it, which is a foreign concept anyway--that kind of ownership of land. We're still stewards, or the people who work the land, the maka‘ainana of the land."

Almost pau....



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