Cutting the lei

Cutting the lei (l-r): Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr.; County Council Chair Jay Furfaro; Garden Island Arts Council Volunteer Executive Director Carol K. Yotsuda; Kaua`i Builders, Ltd. President and General Manager Richard Maeda; Friends of Kamalani & Lydgate Park General Coordinator Tommy Noyes; Kamalani Pavilion Architect Avery Youn

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 m