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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 8, 2002

Mau'umae park plan approved

By James Gonser
Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer

The Kaimuki Neighborhood Board approved a master plan for Mau'umae Nature Park and the first phase of construction at its meeting last week, but a proposed archery range has been cut from the plans at least for now, said the consultant for the city project.

Dana Ann Yee, a landscape architect, gave a presentation on the project and said the first phase of park improvements will include new grass in the open field area already used by residents and commonly known as 16th Avenue Park, a new irrigation system for the 4-acre section, a 6-foot-wide meandering path around the perimeter and more native plants.

Yee said there are no areas within the 33-acre nature park that would be flat enough and safe for a proposed Zen archery range. A Zen archery range can include use by practitioners of traditional archery, which emphasizes accuracy in hitting the target, and kyudo, which emphasizes form, discipline and posture.

"In our opinion, this is not the best site for a Zen archery range," Yee said. "The park needs to be natural and passive."

Archer Albert Batara, who has been working for years to have the archery range included in the master plan for the park, disagreed. He said the range would be safe and that there has never been an accident at the present Zen range in Kapi'olani Park.

Batara said if the range is included in the master plan, he has secured money for the project that would not come out of the city's capital improvement funds being used for the rest of Mau'umae's upgrade. He said the range could go in a flat area near a proposed parking lot.

But Yee said the potential for an accident exists at that site, and said the idea when developing the master plan was to keep Mau'umae

Nature Park as natural as possible. The range does not fit with that theme, she said.

Although the board voted in 1995 to include a Zen archery range in the park, it voted unanimously last week to accept the master plan without the archery range.

"We kind of approved the concept years ago," said Leonard Tam, a member of the board and of the Mau'umae Nature Park Advisory Committee. "That was when we didn't have a master plan. It was a conceptual thing and we didn't know how (the archery range) would fit in. We didn't look at safety and security and things that Dana looked into."

Tam said the park has remained undeveloped for years and that a previous plan to create an "active" city park was rejected by the community in favor of more passive uses.

The second phase of work would include a parking lot off 16th Avenue and playground equipment; a comfort station would be installed in phase three; and phase four could be the archery range if an appropriate site is found.

Construction of the first phase is expected to begin next year.

Reach James Gonser at 535-2431 or jgonser@honoluluadvertiser.com.