OHA Makes Bid for Moanalua Gardens

Brian Schatz
Brian Schatz

(KHNL) - Moanalua Gardens has been a gathering place for generations of families, but now it's being sold off.

"We were afraid in the community that it would get in the hands of a developer," said Rep. Glenn Wakai.

"Perhaps turn it into a strip mall, perhaps turn it into 300 more homes and we certainly don't want to happen," Wakai said.

Now the state may work on a deal for the 23 acre park.

"Moanalua gardens is where thousands of kids go every year to learn about the natural environment and we think its in everybody's best interest to make sure that this place doesn't get subdivided," said Rep. Brian Schatz, Water Land Vice-Chairman.

Moanalua Gardens is owned the Damon Estate, which is in the process of selling its assets. Community members say they want to preserve the gardens and prevent any further development in the area.

Several trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are also considering making a bid to purchase the gardens. In written testimony, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said it supports OHA's efforts to hold the title to the property.

"With increased development and increased density across the state, you've got to take a deep breath as a community and look at those areas that are the most special and try to preserve them," Schatz said.