Po’ipu Beach Park gets an early Christmas present

PO’IPU — Rocks fronting the Po’ipu Beach Park lifeguard stand have plagued beach-goers for a long time, and were a constant topic of discussion.

Until recently, when about 50 volunteers headed up by Boy Scouts Sean Thompson, Skyler Schone, and Cory Sakahashi of Troop 270, Kalaheo, descended on the popular beach park as part of an Eagle Scout project.

Mike Thompson, Sean Thompson’s dad, said the volunteers put in about 150 man hours recently, with the result being that two pavilions on the western end of the park were repainted, and in the rocky area fronting the lifeguard stand, piles of rocks were neatly stacked above the waterline.

Thompson said that the entire project was coordinated through Mel Nishihara of the County of Kaua’i Department of Public Works Division of Parks, and leaders in the Office of the Mayor.

Earlier this week, heavy equipment from Regency Development was on hand in a special taped-off portion of the park, moving away the piles of rocks, as well as other rocks the volunteers could not get to.

“It’s inspiring to see young people taking responsibility for making Kaua’i a better place to live,” said Kaua’i Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste.

Baptiste has been visible at celebrations of youth accomplishments recently, as he congratulated members of the Lihue Patriots Pee Wee football team who won Hawai’i’s first-ever Pop Warner National Championship in Division II earlier this month.

Paul Frazier, one of the workers with Regency Development, was one of three men using their own strength to clear the area once the crane had cleared the area.

“Mike likes to do community work, and he wanted to do this,” Frazier said. “Since it’s an off day at the Regency Villas II project, it was a nice time to have the equipment here to clear the rocks.”

Once the rocks are cleared from the area, sand that was “contributed from various sources” will be used to fill in the area, Mike Thompson said.

That should take place tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, thanks to the contribution of trucks by Roger Palama to haul the sand from , Mike Thompson said.

Roy Yamagata, one of the Kaua’i Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau’s water-safety officers, was manning a rake to smooth the sand following the removal of rocks.

“The ocean will probably smooth out the addition of sand,” Yamagata said, noting that the beach changes depending on the weather conditions.

“It’s big bucks to run heavy equipment like this all day long,” Frazier pointed out, indicating a portion of savings to county leaders from the volunteer-driven, park-improvement project.

“But, it’s going to look real nice when it’s finished,” Frazier said.

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