Hawaii Kai heiau and wetland protected from development

Hawea heiau complex and Keawawa wetland in Hawaii Kai
Hawea heiau complex and Keawawa wetland in Hawaii Kai

A Hawaii Kai heiau and wetland will be protected as a community-owned and managed Hawaiian cultural heritage preserve.

Prior landowners had planned to develop outdoor private amenities, such as tennis courts and a swimming pool, to benefit a proposed luxury condominium development.

Hawea heiau complex contains petroglyphs, an ancient coconut grove, agricultural terraces, a spring, and many walls and structures that reflect ancient Hawaiian cultural practices and daily life, while Keawawa wetland offers refuge to native wildlife, like the endangered alae ula (Hawaiian moorhen), aukuu (Black-crowned night heron) and pinao (Hawaiian dragonfly).

The Trust for Public Land purchased the property from Hale Ka Lae and transferred the land to Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, a community nonprofit that has been caring for heiau complex and wetland since 2009. The Hui is preserving and teaching traditional Hawaiian cultural practices, restoring the land and introducing people to the property’s history.

“This heritage preserve is located in the heart of Hawaii Kai’s residential and commercial development,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Keeping it green and maintaining the native Hawaiian cultural significance shows that Oahu can grow without losing our roots.”

The property is located on Hawaii Kai Dr., between The Oahu Club and the Hale Ka Lae condominium project.

Funding for the $650,000 project came in equal parts from the City and County of Honolulu’s Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund and the State of Hawaii’s Legacy Land Conservation Fund.

To volunteer at Hawea heiau complex, email Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, call 864-8081, or just show up at 8:30 a.m. every second Saturday on Hawaii Kai Dr. across from Ainahou St.

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