A change in stream flow has turned a popular soccer field into a swampy mess

From soccer field to swampy mess: the stream-driven degradation of a Maunawili park

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An athletic field in Windward Oahu has turned into a swampy mess because of a stream flow problem that started years ago.

As the demand for usable space grows, parents and coaches are asking the city what’s being done to bring the softball and soccer field back at Maunawili Valley Neighborhood Park.

“It’s just dangerous. It’s dangerous for people to use just walking — you could sprain your ankle. Not to mention, there is standing water so there’s the danger of leptospirosis,” said soccer coach Kathy Katoa.

Katoa noticed a serious change about five years ago; every time a heavy rain came through, the park’s athletic field would flood.

Things have gotten worse since and now, a large portion of the field is similar to a swamp or wetland.

“It started draining onto the fielding and creating a lake situation and then the maintenance could not mow that particular area due to the water,” said Katoa.

Andrea Farleigh who serves as commissioner for the Kailua/Waimanalo American Youth Soccer Organization, said there just isn’t enough usable park space in Windward Oahu.

“To lose that one is a very big deal for us,” she said.

City Councilman Ikaika Anderson’s office says that any change to the Maunawili stream flow would require an enormous amount of permitting involving the Army Corps of Engineers and a lot of taxpayer money. But they’re not ready to give up on the field just yet and say they are working to find a solution.

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