The Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association (AHHA), founded in 1982 and a member of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA) recently held a project meeting on the status of its Anahola Sports Complex initiative on Hawaiian Home Lands.
AHHA President Kipukai Kualii said, “The Anahola Sports Complex consists of three baseball fields, two gymnasiums with weight rooms, a running track, skate park, sand volleyball courts and a rodeo arena. This will be a game changer for us as native Hawaiians and all of Kauaʻi in pursuing a new economic model around a recreation economy that serves our local kamaʻāina and visitors from off island for sporting events.”
The project is based on the planning process by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) that resulted in the 2010 Anahola Regional Plan. AHHA and many Anahola residents participated in the plan more than a decade ago. AHHA’s designated nonprofit leading the complex is the Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC).
Initial planning funds were provided by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature approved in 2019 and released by Gov. Ige in 2021. HCDC has raised additional funding and capacity support through partnerships with national nonprofits, local nonprofits, the County of Kauaʻi, and recently through a planning investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC) on tribal lands.
“This sports complex is tied to an agricultural-based rodeo and ranching facility that represents our rural homestead and families that have lived in the region for decades,” said Jordyn Danner, HCDC deputy director. “All of us from Kauaʻi, raising our keiki here, can easily imagine it’s impact to our youth, to adults, our elders, those in equestrian activities or field sports, whether spectators or on the field – a recreation economy that matches our rural location and values.”
With project scoping and renderings near complete, and just under $1.1 million raised in funding for planning, pre-development and homestead visioning, AHHA submitted a formal land request to DHHL to site the project.
Kualii added, “The Anahola Sports Complex site identified and requested, is almost exactly the location sited in the 2010 DHHL plan. There are thousands of acres in our Anahola homestead region to choose from, but we think the original regional plan, and the one we put forward to DHHL with our land request, is exactly the right spot to create rural based jobs right here in Anahola, while serving all of Kauaʻi – exciting progress for sure!”
The report was well-received with excitement. One meeting observer asked the AHHA board to take on another project in the region – a motocross racetrack. Board members agreed to meet with motocross enthusiasts but responded that the Anahola Sports Complex is the focus of its energy, along with a 20-unit rental housing project in the region that iss so needed on Kauaʻi.