Big plans for ‘Big Park’

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Hanamaulu Mauka resident Joe Alvarez penciled his rendition of an improved Laukona Park onto one of the table coverings Saturday during a breakfast scoping meeting on improvements to the “big park.”

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lee Steinmetz, the contact person for the Laukona Park improvement project, listens to Hanamaulu Mauka residents’ concerns about improving the “big park” Saturday during a breakfast scoping meeting.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Hanamaulu Mauka resident Joe Alvarez expresses his vision of Laukona Park improvements as the county’s Parks and Recreation Director Patrick Porter, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, and Kauai Junior Youth Squad members Amber Mirey, John Erakdrik and Benzy Mirey listen Saturday during the breakfast scoping meeting at the large park in Hanamaulu.

HANAMAULU — Benzy Mirey wants a swimming pool for Laukona Park.

His sister, Amber Mirey, was a little more realistic, settling for a water fountain and wading pool for keiki.

Other residents, like Joe Alvarez, wanted a comfort station among the list of improvements he penciled in for Laukona Park that is bounded by Laukona Street in the Hanamaulu Mauka neighborhood.

The residents, including the Mirey siblings, part of the Kauai Junior Youth Squad, launched their suggestions into the warm morning air Saturday during a free breakfast and scoping meeting where Hanamaulu Mauka residents and park users could voice their opinions on park improvements.

Bev Brody of Get Fit Kauai announced that the Kauai Junior Youth Squad and Get Fit Kauai have partnered to try and improve the conditions at Laukona Park, also known as “the Big Park.”

“This is going to be an amazing project,” she said.

Members of the KJYS delivered fliers to homes and, on Saturday, voiced their opinions on what they want to see improved at Laukona Park. Many of their suggestions, including the comfort stations, re-grassing the bare spots, and the water features, were echoed by neighborhood residents.

“Ho, you folks want expensive things,” Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said. “Comfort stations? A pool? Do you realize a bathroom costs nearly a million dollars? We found that out when we wanted to install bathrooms at Vidinha Stadium. Luckily, we worked with Parks and Recreation to find a nice, secured area to help us save some money.”

Lee Steinmetz, project contact person, was glad with the turnout and participation of the residents.

“We had people filling out surveys on what they wanted and are concerned about,” Steinmetz said. “So far, we anticipate between 30 to 50 surveys being done today.”

Amber Mirey, a member of the Kauai Junior Youth Squad, said the group has been following the discussion through social media.

“People are able to post their concerns @808Kauai.jy on Instagram,” Amber said.

Steinmetz said the next step would be to work with the government and see how the project would take place and how the project would be funded.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. Diana June 16, 2019 7:15 am Reply

    Dream on…😂😂🤣🤣

  2. RG DeSoto June 16, 2019 9:31 am Reply

    What the heck think’s only the taxpayers’ money.
    RG DeSoto

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