Hilo Bayfront Trails ['60 Likes' on December 29, 2012!]
The Hilo Bayfront Trails, Inc. formed to help move this forward. With the leadership of Peter Kubota, steps are being taken to form a 501(c)3. A working committee, the Friends of Hilo Bayfront Trails, meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
Hilo Bayfront Trails (HBFT) is a proposed shared-use pathway accommodating pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-vehicular modes of travel along Hilo Bayfront from the Wailuku River to Hilo Harbor. Imagine this comprehensive system of paths, that when completed, would highlight Hilo’s recreational, historic, cultural, and natural beauty resources and increase accessibility of these resources to both residents and visitors alike! Stretching nearly three miles from Reed’s Island at Wailuku River, through Downtown Hilo, in and around Wailoa State Park, along Waiolama Canal between the soccer fields, and to the piers of Hilo Harbor – the trail area comprises over 700 acres of land in close proximity to Hilo Bay. Most of the area is publicly-owned open space under the jurisdiction of either the County of Hawai‘i’s Department of Parks and Recreation or the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Parks Division.
Through the assistance of Hawaii County Department of Research and Development and Project Manager Beth Dykstra, funding to complete the initial Planning phase was secured from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hawaii County Council. This covered the completion of the HIlo Bayfront Trails Master Plan in June 2009; the issuance of a Final Environmental Assessment Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in April 2010; and the preparation of a Special Management Area Use Permit which was approved by the County of Hawaii Planning Commission in April 2011.
This trail will promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles, provide expanded recreational areas for families and children, and create the infrastructure needed for increased walkability and connectivity to special places that form Hilo’s unique character and sense of place. The project would include interpretive and directional signage, benches, bicycle and walking paths, and other related improvements. This project is long overdue and exactly what we need to help build and sustain Hilo as a healthy, livable, and vibrant community!
The HBFT Project is included as an action in the EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025 Plan (EDH 2025), and ranked high on the list during various public surveys.
EDH 2025 Primary Focus Area 2: Preserving Our Environment
Secondary Focus Areas 3, 5: Strengthening and Sustaining Our Community, Promoting Health and Safety