The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center recently conveyed a protected parcel of land in a densely developed section of Wailuku to the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. The protected 4.5-acre open space parcel will serve as the location for a future peace park honoring veterans. The land, located between the NCMC building and the Kanaloa Avenue and Kahului Beach Road intersection, was conveyed by the NVMC to HILT on July 1.
HILT will eventually open the land for public passive recreation by turning the property into a peace park honoring veterans. A nature trail, small public parking area, picnic tables, benches, and informational signage will be installed amongst other efforts on the land such as removing invasive plant species and introducing more native species.
The coastal land has various conservation values which benefit the community. The 4.5-acre parcel affords numerous passerby and residents in the area scenic vistas. The property also has historical and cultural values; there are two known historic sites on the property, including a Hawaiian cultural site and the remnants of the Kahului Railroad’s rock crusher which operated from 1921 to 1946 when the facility was damaged by a tsunami.
“We have been very honored to work with the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on this project,” said Ted Clement, HILT Executive Director. “On behalf of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, I want to thank the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center for donating the land to us. I also want to thank our very generous donors who gave us the funds to receive the land, build the basic park infrastructure and steward the land long-term so that this strategically located coastal property can serve as a future peace park honoring veterans.”
The lead gift was provided by The Freeman Foundation; other leadership gifts were provided by Mary Sanford, Paul Mizoguchi, David and Judith Fukuda, Hiroshi Arisumi, Alexander and Baldwin Kokua Giving program, and Matson. “I would further like to thank HILT’s Director of Conservation/Maui Island Director, Scott Fisher, for his work on the project,” said Ted Clement, HILT Executive Director.
The property where the peace park will sit also has water resource values in that the land serves as a natural filter strip from runoff heading towards Kahului Bay. The land also has some wildlife habitat values and contains native plants such as Naupaka.
“NVMC is excited about the preservation of this open space as a peace park honoring all Maui veterans and is happy to donate the property to HILT for this purpose,” said Brian Moto, NVMC President. “We respect HILT’s distinguished record of land stewardship and conservation, and believe that our collaboration will result in a lasting tribute to our veterans.”
Photo courtesy of HILT