Construction of the long anticipated Hilo Bayfront Trails has started, and is expected to be completed before the year end. Phase 1 includes 3 sections: Sections 1 and 2 will run from the Mo’oheau Bandstand, cross Pauahi Street, and end at the canoe hale parking lot. Section 3 will encircle the soccer fields on the mauka side of Waiolama canal. Phase 1 of the Trail is funded by a federal grant and by the County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation. The State Parks Division of DLNR is starting its own Phase 1 within Wailoa State Park, with its start of construction anticipated early in 2017.
According to Peter Kubota, President of Hilo Bayfront Trails “When completed, Hilo will have a comprehensive set of 12-foot wide bike-pedestrian trails connecting Downtown Hilo, Banyan Drive, and around Wailoa State Park. It was heartening to hear that the Banyan Drive Redevelopment Agency includes the Trail’s master plan as a centerpiece of the future Banyan Peninsula”.
The late Senator Gil Kahele was a strong supporter of the Trail, and we are grateful that his son, Senator Kai Kahele is continuing his legacy. “Hilo Bayfront Trails will be an integral part of great things to happen in Hilo’s future” said Kahele.
Hilo Bayfront Trails is now launching its community fundraising campaign for Phase II of the Trail. On Friday, November 4, Hilo Bayfront Trails will showcase the start of the Trail at the Mo’oheau Bandstand at 4pm. They will also have a presence later that day the at Black and White Night Event downtown. The public is invited to attend to learn more and offer their support.
Ed Olson of Wainaku Ventures has already made a dollar-for-dollar pledge to match funds raised by the community, up to $250,000. “We are seeking pledges from individuals and community groups, large and small to match Mr. Olson’s generous challenge” said Kubota. Together, we will build a legacy Trail 6 miles long, connecting 700 acres of park lands, Downtown Hilo, and Banyan Drive, for residents and visitors alike. To sponsor a 12’x12’ section of the Trail, volunteer, or for more information, visit www.hilobayfronttrails.org.