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Contact: Ka`u Preservation 808-928-8144
A HISTORIC DAY IN KA`U: KA`U PRESERVATION ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR PUNALU`U CULTURAL PRESERVE
By Pele Hanoa, President of Ka`u Preservation
Sept., 29th, 2006 – Punalu`u, Kau, Hawai`i
Thursday, Sept. 28th, marked a historic day in Ka`u, as over 250 people gathered from across Ka`u and the state to see our plan and vision to create THE PUNALU`U CULTURAL PRESERVE that will protect the entire Ahupua`a of Punalu`u as a LIVING CLASSROOM and where educators from around the world can come to teach in a natural setting, in outdoor classrooms and provide students with a life changing experience. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and is the beginning of a new united front to protecting Punalu`u.
The concept of the PUNALU`U CULTURAL PRESERVE comes from a vision and dream of my daughter Keolalani Hanoa, who passed away in March. Keola is the inspiration for the Punalu`u Living Classroom. We are seeking public involvement as we create the long-term management plan and it will evolve as input arrives. Innovation is key and we have already begun initial designs:
The few structures we will build, will be designed as outdoor pavilions that will melt into the landscape and resemble pre-contact Hawaiian architecture -- including a state of the art Cultural Center, Museum, Theater and Aquaculture Center and Farm. The golf and tennis facilities will be expanded to include the first-ever Hawaiian Outdoor Sports Center. A solar powered tram will transport visitors throughout the park and local access will be guaranteed with expanded priority beach parking for all local and state residents. A trail system from the mountains to the sea will allow visitors to explore the entire Ahupua`a of Punalu`u. Camping will be expanded to provide outdoor housing for students and teachers. And an in-depth management plan will be implemented to restore and protect all of the sacred sites and natural features and habitats forever.
We believe this plan will create better jobs and a stronger economy for Ka`u because we will be protecting and restoring our most treasured resource -- the Ahupua`a of Punalu`u, from the mountain to the sea.
We believe we can convince the current developer (who has not yet purchased the property) to find a better location for their 1,500-1,800 home luxury "Plantation Style" massive development that includes an upscale shopping center and hotel. We do not need a new plantation in Ka`u. We will not allow them to destroy these sacred lands.
We have already received $20,000 in grants from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawaii Foundation to create an educational media package, website and business plan to begin making this vision a reality. We will be working with these and other Hawaiian organizations and individual investors along with the county, state and federal government to negotiate the acquisition of the Sea Mountain Property and build our educational center.
We also launched our new educational website (www.savepunaluu.org) that will provide an overview of our plan, why we must protect Punalu`u and an on-line community forum for public input.
Ka`u Filmmaker Danny Miller premiered a portion of his new film production “PUNALU`U: A LIVING CLASSROOM” that when complete, will be distributed on television and as DVD throughout the state. The film featured interviews with leading marine biologists and long-time Ka`u residents who expressed their concern for the protection and proper management of Punalu`u. The final film will be released in late October.
Mahalo to artist, Alane Fieldson who created the artwork for the Punalu`u Cultural Preserve map and brochure and Kasey at www.starrwebdevelopment.com for creating our new savepunaluu.org website.
For more information on Ka`u Preservation’s effort to preserve the sacred lands of Ka`u, go to: www.kaupreservation.org.