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Kāne‘ohe Community Park erosion mitigation, slope stabilization project to improve community garden

Project being designed in conjunction with community gardeners, will require one-year garden closure during construction

O‘AHU -- A project to mitigate erosion and stabilize the hillside at Kāne‘ohe Community Park is expected to additionally improve the garden as part of the Capital Improvement Project.

While the project is required in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) water quality requirements, it also provides the City an opportunity to renovate the community garden at the base of the project site.

Since summer 2022, the Honolulu Parks & Recreation (DPR) and Design & Construction (DDC) departments have been working with the community gardeners and the project's consultant, ParEn, Inc., to modify the design of the project and fit the gardener's needs. During this time, three alternate designs were discussed. Gardeners did not prefer the design utilizing an approximately 20' CRM wall, and the option involving turf reinforcing matting and anchors requires an unattainable easement of non-City land. The current, hybrid design was determined to be the most practical. It includes a concrete retaining wall with stairs and small, CRM walls to create terraced gardening space. An additional $179,500 was expended for the redesign of this project.

Along with the above-mentioned retaining wall, CRM walls, and stairs, the hybrid project design will also include:

  • Drainage improvements
  • New fencing, gardening boxes, and irrigation system
  • Reconstructed security lights
  • Grading, grassing, and soil tilling
  • Adding an ADA-accessible plot
  • Other measures to stabilize the slope and mitigate future erosion

Following completion of the design in coordination with the community, the contract for the project will be publicized for bidding. Once the contractor is selected, and all necessary permits and approvals secured, the project is expected to take about a year to complete from the time of ground-breaking. The community garden, adjacent play courts, and a perimeter portion of a field will need to be closed during this one-year period. The City will work with the contractor to minimize the length and impact of this closure.

Additional efforts to temporarily relocate the gardeners to a nearby Windward gardening site during the closure are being discussed. DPR will continue to work with the community gardeners regarding other smaller design elements for this project, such as the fencing. We are confident the involvement of the gardeners in the design of this project will ensure a significantly upgraded community garden once the project is complete, with sufficient project notice allowing the gardeners time to prepare for the temporary closure of the garden. We appreciate the patience and collaboration with the gardeners and community, and will provide future updates on the project as they become available.

During the permitting process, it will be determined whether additional environmental assessments of the proposed project are needed. It is believed this further evaluation will not be necessary due to the project's scope and continued use of the land for park purposes.

The City has been continuously addressing these erosion issues in a prioritized manner based on the severity of erosion, proximity to water bodies, and potential impacts downstream. Kāne‘ohe Community Park is in relatively close proximity to the Kāne‘ohe Stream, which feeds into Kāne‘ohe Bay approximately three-quarters of a miles away. All of our near-shores waters are precious, but this bay in particular is designated as a protected water body by the State Department of Health, which monitors water quality levels. The City is obligated by permitting and statutes to mitigate sediment runoff from City properties. In addition, we take our responsibility of being good neighbors very seriously as what we do affects the health of the natural environment downstream (such as coral reefs, plants, fish life, and recreational users). Ultimately, not mitigating erosion upstream can be severely detrimental to the ocean and downstream neighbors, and result in significant daily fines to the City of up to $25,000 a day of our taxpayer dollars.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email parks@honolulu.gov

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