KIRC Receives Grants to Support Cultural Programming in Kīhei

December 31, 2013, 12:29 PM HST · Updated January 2, 8:53 AM
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Photo courtesy: Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission.

Photo courtesy: Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission.

By Wendy Osher

The Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission received two state grants to support cultural programming in South Maui.

The funds were received through a partnership with the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, according to a KIRC announcement.

One project will prepare an 8-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Kīhei Boat Ramp in South Maui for future use as a Kahoʻolawe Cultural Center.

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KIRC representatives say the area will house offices, an information center, a boat house and storage facility, a native Hawaiian plant nursery, and traditional hale for education programs.

A separate grant will go towards the design of a “Kumeheu” walking trail with native plants and interpretive educational experience about Kahoʻolawe on the same Kīhei property.

The cultural center project, also known as the “Hale Hoʻoulu Mea Kanu and Kalamalama: Building Bridges Between Kahoʻolawe and Kīhei” was funded through the “Kūkulu Ola: Living Hawaiian Culture” grant program.

“Hawaiian Culture has always been preserved and maintained through the many stories passed down from generation to generation,” says KIRC Executive Director Michael Nāho‘opi‘i in a press release.  “The Hale Hoʻoulu Mea Kanu and Kalamalama will tell these stories,” he said.

Cultural Resources Project Coordinator Kuiokalani Gapero also commented, saying, “This project will enhance public access to this natural coastal resource in an environmentally friendly and respectful manner while adding to the understanding of the natural resources of Kaho‘olawe – in turn – assisting in their protection, restoration and perpetuation.”

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