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State launches park “Recreational Renaissance”

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park is the site of the first extensive contact between Hawaiians and Westerners with the arrival of Captain Cook in 1779 and is part of the administration's "Recreational Renaissance" plan. (Photo by Karin Stanton/hawaii247.com)

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park is the site of the first extensive contact between Hawaiians and Westerners with the arrival of Captain Cook in 1779 and is part of the administration's "Recreational Renaissance" plan. (Photo by Karin Stanton/hawaii247.com)

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Reflecting a focus on restoring and preserving Hawaii’s state parks, trails and ocean recreation facilities, the Lingle-Aiona Administration lat week announced a comprehensive, statewide plan to reinvigorate Hawaii’s natural resources.

Under the leadership of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the “Recreational Renaissance” initiative aims to provide for a re-birth of recreational opportunities across the state, as well as the continued stewardship of 54 state parks, 20 small boat harbors, 25 boat ramps and landings, 275 miles of hiking trails and the Forest Reserve System.

“By improving and maintaining these resources, through the Recreational Renaissance, we – along with the legislature and private sector partners – are renewing our commitment to preserving what is special about Hawaii,” Gov. Linda Lingle said.

Cornerstones of the modernization plan include:

• $240 million in capital improvements for recreational infrastructure over five years, with the debt paid by rents from state commercial and industrial lands.

• Dedicated revenues generated from limited fees, leases and concessions in parks and small boat harbors to support facility maintenance, restoration, interpretive and education programs and increase security of recreational spaces.

• Adopting national model standards for maintenance schedules to upgrade park trails and small boat harbor standards, and reorganizing the Department of Land and Natural Resources to maximize efficiency and professionalism in maintaining recreational facilities and spaces.

• Developing new land and ocean recreational opportunities through public-private partnerships to support long-term demand for additional recreational opportunities and relieve pressure on a limited number of popular recreational spaces.

The Recreational Renaissance consists of a five-year rhythmic cycle of improvements to recreational facilities across the state. Land and ocean recreation infrastructure projects will be coordinated island by island to maximize cost efficiency.  

Comprehensive improvements at parks, harbors and trails will be implemented on a rotational schedule to minimize disruption within the areas and to provide total upgrading of standards and operations within each project.

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