By Tommy Noyes

Pictured at the makai end of Hapa Trail, the Hawai‘i Congress of Planning Officials’ Poʻipū bicycle tour participants included (left to right) Laura Mo, Michael Yee, Rachel Morse, Amy Ford-Madison, Heidi Hansen-Smith, Dalton Beauprez, Racquel Segato-Figueroa, Susan Koonce, Richard Wollenbecker, Peter Koonce, Pat Griffin, Michael Moule, Edoardo Segato (with Toby), Emily Davids, Tommy Noyes, Janet Meinke-Lau, Andy Honl, Karen Comcowich, Jessica Andrews, and Andrew Tang. Photo by Riley Hakoda

Two topics merit review in this month’s Community column, the upcoming “Make a Difference Day” in Lydgate Park, and the recent “Hawai‘i Congress of Planning Officials” held on Kaua‘i.

The Friends of Kamalani coordinates “Make a Difference Day” in Lydgate Park annually. This year the community workday will be held Saturday, Oct. 22. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are asked to check in at 7:30 a.m. in the Main Pavilion. There, they will be matched with various teams performing tasks throughout the 65-acre regional park. Snacks and lunch will be served.

Participants are urged to visit to register. Contact Logistics Section Chief Ellen Berkowitz at to discuss how you can kokua with this traditional community-building event.

In September, the County of Kaua‘i Planning Department personnel hosted the three-day “Hawai‘i Congress of Planning Officials,” an annual gathering that alternates around Hawai‘i from county to county. Keynote speakers Charles Marohn of Strong Towns and Charles Brown of Equitable Cities challenged some 300 planners from around the state to expand their social responsibilities following the theme Navigating Home.

“Rapid change washes over us in waves to the point where it is difficult to catch our breath, let alone orient ourselves,” states the event’s website. “How do we as community leaders navigate the onslaught of uncertainties of the last two years? Whether dealing with the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and natural hazards, or socio-economic inequities, planners remain at the forefront of community response and action.

“To remain strong, we must grow our capacities for honest self-reflection and courageously accept our own discomfort during chaos. We must become aware of our own patterned responses in the face of fear so that we can respond proactively instead of reactively. We must develop the ability to be calm in the midst of the unknown with a sense of curiosity and openness. We must draw upon creativity and cooperation, in order to foster innovation and partnerships that will bring us meaningful solutions.

“Navigating a new vision of HOME is a journey of transformation.”

Sessions were held at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort & Spa in Poʻipū, and the Planning Department asked me (Tommy Noyes, Kauaʻi Path Executive Director) to coordinate an educational bicycle tour of the South Shore. I reached out to community members for bicycle loans; recruited tour docents; and engaged Pat Griffin, board member of the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, to illuminate the historical sites visited along the two-mile route.

“Mahalo for the bicycle tour and being a part of HCPO 2022,” wrote Michael Yee (Hawai‘i County’s Office of Housing and Community Development) to Pat Griffin and Tommy Noyes. “Your tour was well organized for the participants, which I know hides how hard you worked on coordinating the logistics.

“Pat, again, I really appreciate your gift of knowledge. Even as planners, it is easy to forget to be intentional about learning the history and importance of the ‘aina we are visiting as guests.

Contact the author at for more information on these events.

  • Tommy Noyes is Kaua‘i Path’s executive director, a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor and active with the Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps.



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