With project scoping and renderings near complete, and just under $1.1 million raised in funding, members of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations held a project meeting to discuss the status of its Anahola Sports Complex initiative on Hawaiian Home Lands, according to a press release issued Monday, Aug. 15.
Kipukai Kuali‘i, President of the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association, or AHHA, opened the meeting by thanking fellow homestead board members for advancing a recreation economy on Hawaiian Home Lands in Northeast Kaua‘i and described the site’s future amenities. “The Anahola Sports Complex consists of three baseball fields, 2 gymnasiums with weight rooms, a running track, skate park, sand volleyball courts, and a rodeo arena,” Kualii said while addressing the opportunity as a ‘game changer’ for native Hawaiians. “All of Kaua‘i is pursuing a new economic model around a recreation economy that serves our local kama‘aina greatly, and also visitors from interisland and off island to sporting events.”
The report was well received, with unanimous excitement. One observer at the meeting asked the board if the homestead association would take on another project in the region – a motocross race track. Board members agreed to meet with motocross enthusiasts but responded that the Anahola Sports Complex is the focus of its energy, along with a 20-unit rental housing project in the region.
“The sports complex is tied to an agricultural-based rodeo and ranching facility that represents rural homesteads and families that have lived in the region for decades,” stated Jordyn Danner, Deputy Director for the Homestead Community Development Corporation. “All of us from Kaua‘i, raising our keiki here, can easily imagine its impact on our youth, to adults, our elders, those in equestrian activities or field sports, whether spectators or on the field – a recreation economy that matches our rural location and values.”
Kualii added that the Anahola Sports Complex site identified and requested is almost exactly the location described in the 2010 Department of Hawaiian Home Lands plan. “There are thousands of acres in our Anahola homestead region to choose from, but we think the original regional plan, and the one we put forward to DHHL with our land request, is exactly the right spot to create rural-based jobs right here in Anahola while serving all of Kaua‘i, exciting progress for sure!”
Many Anahola residents participated in the proposal to advocate for additional recreational opportunities more than a decade ago with DHHL, which resulted in the 2010 Anahola Regional Plan.
Anahola is one of three regions on Kaua‘i selected for regional planning to asses land use development factors.
Initial planning funds were provided by the Hawaii State Legislature approved in 2019 and released by Governor Ige in 2021. HCDC has raised additional funding and capacity support through partnerships with national nonprofits, local nonprofits, the County of Kaua‘i, and recently through a planning investment by the US Department of Agriculture under its Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge on tribal lands.