Hawaii Kai dog park to open in spring
What ever happened to the dog park planned for Hawaii Kai?
Answer: The dog park, which was first proposed in 2004, is under construction and should be opened by spring, according to the city Parks and Recreation Department.
The park, next to the state's Park and Ride on Keahole Street, will open thanks largely to a local nonprofit group, Hui Ilio, that entered a public-private partnership with the city, which needed more funding for construction costs.
"We can hardly believe the project is finally coming to fruition," said Elaine Dobashi, Hui Ilio's president.
The city Parks and Recreation Department is "grubbing" the area, or preparing the soil, and will install the irrigation system, while Hui Ilio is responsible for installing the fencing, park benches, parts of the landscaping and other amenities.
The group has also adopted the park, which makes it partially responsible for maintenance, though most of the larger upkeep work will be done by the city, said Dana Takahara-Dias, Parks and Recreation deputy director.
After consulting with the environmental group Outdoor Circle, several kiawe trees will be removed in the park because of their spiny needles, which are harmful to dogs' paws, and replaced with monkeypod trees to provide shade, Takahara-Dias said.
Dobashi said the group needs to raise more funding to cover the estimated $57,000 needed for its responsibilities to the park. Takahara-Dias did not immediately have the city's estimated expenses, though she said they was "very nominal."
"We're looking at this to be a model for other communities that want a dog park," Takahara-Dias said.
Other communities with proposed private-public partnerships for dog parks include Ala Wai and an informal request on the North Shore, Takahara-Dias said.
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