Cleaning up

Around 15 people helped clean up 75 acres in Kilauea recently in the name of transforming a makeshift dumping grounds into a community garden.

The group filled about 30 big bags of trash preparing the area for community farming that will one day be done there by local farmers.

For more than 30 years, plans to create a community agriculture park on the undeveloped land bordering Kahili Quarry Road have stalled until recently.

Yoshi L’Hote’s, project director for ‘Aina Ho’okupu O Kilauea, helped spearhead the effort and said the volunteers who showed up Saturday made an impact.

“It was good,” he said.

Plans include the construction of public restrooms and the building of a hale to serve as a community gathering space as well as an alternate location for the farmers market during inclement weather.

Getting the land for the ag park in the hands of the community was a long road.

In 1976, the developer of the neighboring Seacliff Plantation residential community was required to dedicate the 75 acres of former sugar cane land bordering the development to the Kilauea community for the purpose of an agricultural park

It took from 1976 to 2006 for that dedication to take place and when it finally did the Office of Economic Development was charged with creating a plan for developing it as an ag park.

After settling a water problem, the county, which owns the land entered a partership with ‘Aina Ho’okupu O Kilauea and the plans have gone running.

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