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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 14, 2006

Adding to Isles' legacy

Hawai'i owes a debt of thanks to the Trust for Public Land for helping expand a cultural treasure, the Big Island's popular "City of Refuge."

This preserve, known more formally by its official name, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, gained 238 acres more than twice the area of the existing park with the transfer of what's called Ki'ilae, lands held by the trust since 2001. That's when the nonprofit trust acquired it from a private developer while Hawai'i's congressional delegation worked to secure the $4.5 million in federal dollars to add it to the park property.

The trust moved quickly, fronting money in time to save this parcel from subdivision, land rich with cultural sites such as an ancient agricultural field system. That's a gratifying achievement, considering the powerful development pressures brought to bear on coastal lands.

The rescue of legacies such as Ki'ilae is a gift that resonates through generations.