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Sunday, January 2, 2011
December 7 battlefield to become Regional Park
By John Bond @ 7:40 PM :: 6611 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12

by John Bond, Save Ewa Field

The US Navy will be finally transferring around 500 acres to the C & C of Honolulu (pending for at least a decade already) as a Regional Park.

Various issues held up this transfer for years.  We are making a proposal to the City to allow a Friends of Save Ewa Field group to maintain and protect the battlefield area from looters, vandals and trash dumpers. Our SEF Friends will include community civic organizations, veterans, Youth Challenge cadets and off-duty military folks who live in the Ewa area and care about our local WW-II history.  These same people have already been keeping the ceremonial area clean through many weekends of hard work and clean-up, so we don't think the City will want to turn down this offer!

This land transfer will actually happen through the Dept. of Interior - National Park Service, which is the usual Federal land transfer protocol for a FEDERAL park lands transfer. This means that NPS SHOULD be able to accurately translate to the City the great important of this location as a December 7, 1941 Oahu battle site. All other major battle sites on Oahu have received National Landmark status already, and Ewa Field became a recognized part of the NPS "WW-II Valor in the Pacific" National Monument in 2008. This didn't make it a monument, but it can still be elevated to that status in the future by a Presidential proclamation (which we are working on, as well as elevated National Landmark status.)

The attached map shows the northern part of this city land transfer (which also includes other Ewa Coast areas) and how the City parcel includes the area where we hold our annual Save Ewa Field Commemoration. It's that blue area just above the FAA Circle. Hunt Corp is currently doing its own Section 106 Survey, as required by Federal Law, because they want to built a solar farm in that yellow panhandle area just above the historic WW-II aircraft revetment horse stables area.

The RED line shows an approximate horse trail "right of way" that allows horseback riders to go from the stables, up to the December 7 battlefield area, and on out to join up with the Pearl Harbor Historic Trail.  The PHHT is something our new District One City Councilman Tom Berg has been fighting for for 10 years.  We are definitely very happy to have a new city councilman who can give this Ewa Field site, and the surrounding historic areas, a much needed additional political voice. 

In addition, we hope to be working with an active WW-II Military Museum organization that would provide the additional educational and protective components to make this all work for purposes of historic WW-II era interpretation.

Since this land area also comes under State of Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) jurisdiction as part of the Barbers Point NAS BRAC, it is also zoned as "Eco-Industrial." The question here will be- how will this
affect a City Regional Park in the types of activities that can take place in this area?

Let me know if you would like to be a member of the Friends of Save Ewa Field group that would provide security and caretaking support for the December 7 Ewa Field battle site area.


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