Milo Tree Thefts Prompt Temporary Parking Closure at Beach in Spreckelsville

April 9, 2013, 4:28 PM HST · Updated April 10, 9:49 AM
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Spreckelsville, "Baby Beach", file photo by Wendy Osher.

Spreckelsville, “Baby Beach”, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Ongoing milo tree thefts on Maui will prompt the temporary closure of parking at the area commonly referred to as “Baby Beach” in Spreckelsville, officials said.

The County of Maui said the two-day closure will be in effect on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12, 2013.

During the closure, county authorities say park users will still be able to access the beach area by parking at Baldwin Beach Park and walking to “Baby Beach.”

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In an effort to prevent further thefts, county officials say crews will move boulders into place to block vehicular access at a point identified for use in thefts reported earlier this year.

In a press release issued by the County of Maui, officials said suspects used vehicles to illegally access beach park areas, cutting down trees and hauling them away.

According to descriptions in the Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui/Elbert, the milo tree was used for shade, and crafting wooden calabashes or bowls. The publication notes that the trees grow to 12 meters (nearly 40 feet) tall and are also used for medicine, dye, oil and gum.

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County crews will reportedly join personnel from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Alexander & Baldwin in coordinating theft-prevention efforts.

The affected area is expected to reopen for public access on Saturday, April 13.

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