Kamalani Pavilion and Lydgate Campgrounds Blessing and Opening Ceremonies
Campground Reservations open Friday, June 1
Article and Photos by Anne E. O’Malley
Tuesday, May 29 marked the blessing and opening ceremonies of Kamalani Pavilion and Lydgate Campgrounds, a project that was years in the making. An unintentional fire destroyed the community-built pavilion in 2007, and five years later, with hundreds of hours of volunteer efforts from various community segments and approximately $150,000 in construction costs, the campground/pavilion is good to go.
Leonard A. Rapozo, Jr. welcomed dignitaries and other community members to the small celebration catered by Mark’s Place. Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. gave kudos to the people who made it happen.
The Rev. Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira blessed the park. County Council Chair Jay Furfaro said he looked forward to this “strongest aspect” of the Parks District.
Carol K. Yotsuda, who as the volunteer executive director of the Garden Island Arts Council led the art project that resulted in 15 ceramic art murals of sea creatures that decorate the interior of the Kamalani Pavilion, told listeners that the GIAC had to raise $30,000 to cover the cost of the panels.
Later, in conversation, she mentioned that about 400 students in 15 groups completed the panels, each labeled by school name and the name of the donor for that mural.
Asked to comment on the art aspect of the pavilion, she said, “If you saw something like this elsewhere, you couldn’t have gotten it for less than $200,000. It’s a legacy that the kids involved leave behind, and that’s what it’s all about.”
She added, “I’m reminded at a gathering like this that it’s nice to be a part of something bigger.”
Clyde Kodani, the Kaua`i representative of Sen. Akaka attended, as did architect Avery Youn, who in conversation mentioned, “ I love the levels involved in the project.”
Youn has been donating his architectural services for a few years on this project, in the amount of hundreds of billable hours from his firm. Meetings with the county and planning commission on special management area permits, design and more went into those accrued hours. Earlier, when asked why he was involved and worked gratis on this project, he said, “I’m from this island.”
Richard Maeda, general contractor and president of Kaua`i Builders, Ltd., said separately that he enjoys the county parks and thinks the pavilion with surrounding campgrounds is a beautiful arrangement. He added, “I’m very impressed with Carol Yotsuda’s art work. It makes it more interesting.”
About Lydgate Campgrounds
The 57.85-acre, county-operated Lydgate Park, has 31 campsites and effective Friday, June 1, the county will begin taking reservations in person at the county Pi`ikoi Building, the old Gem building, at 4444 Rice St., Lihu`e. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed holidays and weekends.
Once reservations are working smoothly, they may be made through other satellite permitting offices around the island. And in the future, non-residents may seek reservation applications via email. All of this information will appear shortly on the county website.
The reservation system isn’t tricky, but there are a few elements to observe. One of the elements is that Kaua`i residents must make reservations in person and show identification with proof of residency.
Another element is that there are two rates; one rate for Kaua`i residents and one rate for non-residents. A camping group may combine both residents and non-residents, and if so, the fee is a combination of the two rates, per night.
Also, there are varieties of campsites, ranging from 10-ft. by 10-ft. with a maximum of five campers allowed; to 20-ft. by 20-ft. with a maximum of 10 campers allowed; to three ADA-accessible campsites measuring 20-ft. by 20-ft.
In addition, large groups ranging from 20 persons to 200 persons may reserve a group of campsites that includes reservation of the Kamalani Pavilion.
Amenities include barbeque stations and picnic tables. A comfort station is nearby.
In 2004, volunteers and the county placed recycled plastic picnic tables and the barbeque boxes. Some have fallen into disrepair over the years and will gradually be replaced; however, many remain.
Unique to the county in that each camping site has a number, Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park General Coordinator Tommy Noyes suggests, “For someone planning a camping trip there, it would help if they went to the park and selected the area most preferred so they can make sure the campsite offers all the features they’re looking for, and they could then request that campsite number.”
Lydgate Park and Kamalani Pavilion will close two days during each week for maintenance, from Tuesdays at 10 a.m. to Thursdays at noon, during which time the grounds must be completely evacuated.
Reservations must be made in person; however for more information on how to do so and for fees, call 241-4463.