Hawaii Reserves, Inc., cuts down damaged trees and plans to enlarge and improve Hukilau Beach Park with new bathrooms and showers

Written by: 
Haeley van der Werf

Due to safety concerns, and in order to allow for more campers, Hawaii Reserves, Inc. has announced their plans for changes to the Hukilau Beach Park campground area. The plans include trimming and removal of trees, as well as expansion of the campground and changes to reservations.

Park improvements

According to the HRI website, “In order to ensure the safety of campers and the general public, many of the trees at the Hukilau Beach Park are being removed or trimmed.

“We all have had branches break unexpectedly at the camp area, and we are taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of all campers and guests,” said Jeffrey Tyau, Vice-President of Operations at HRI in a statement online. Tyau noted how in the future the camp area will be expanded to accommodate more guests.

The HRI team explained they took down all of the trees because of the safety issues involved, as well as to open up the space for expanding the campgrounds. “The decision to remove most of the trees was due to safety concerns, and plans to provide more open space for expansion of the campgrounds.

“We have had past incidents where ironwood trees broke unexpectedly, so our staff inspected all trees at the campgrounds and many showed signs of weakening due to fires or termite damage. We later found the trunks of many removed ironwood trees had been hollowed out by termites and ants, even though some looked healthy on the outside.”

The HRI team said they are planning to landscape the area with more grass, and to plant shrubs and trees that are safer and better suited for a windy, beach environment.

HRI also announced improvement and expansion plans for Hukilau campgrounds. Beginning in spring 2019 two large group campsites will be available. Additionally, plans are being made to build a restroom facility and additional outdoor showers. HRI is also designing a new entryway off the highway with an expanded parking area for the campgrounds.

To cover the costs of these improvements and the ongoing maintenance costs of these campgrounds, beginning in the year 2020 camp user fees will be charged.

Changes to reservations

According to HRI, more than 8,000 attempted reservation calls are made for Hukilau campgrounds. They explained how most reservations are made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s wards in the Laie Hawaii and Laie Hawaii North Stakes. Effective June 1, 2019, Hukilau campgrounds will be reserved for the wards in these stakes during summer break.

“As agreed upon with local stake leaders, each stake will allocate reserved weeks among their respective wards. The reserved weeks will alternate and be evenly divided between the two stakes. Groups, other than the local community stake units, will continue to use the phone reservations system to reserve Hukilau campsites for the remaining weeks of the year.”

Community reactions

Community members on social media remembered their times visiting and going to ward camp at Hukilau Beach.

Two commenters remembered an incident that happened at a camp at Hukilau in which a tree branch fell a few feet from a young woman’s head. They said they were sad to see the trees go, but understood it was a necessity for the safety of the campers.

Others expressed their disappointment at the removal of the trees, saying they wished only some of the trees were cut down, and asking why the trees had to be removed completely instead of just trimmed.

Additional information and updates can be found at https://www.hawaiireserves.com/news.htm and additional questions can be directed to contact_us@hawaiireserves.com.

Date Published: 
Friday, February 1, 2019
Last Edited: 
Friday, February 1, 2019