Parker Ranch land to become county park


Hawaii County now has 24 acres to turn into a district park in Waimea.

Parker Ranch CEO Dutch Kuyper announced a memorandum of understanding giving the land, on the Mauna Kea side of the new Waimea bypass, Friday.

Parker Ranch Corporate Secretary Nahua Guilloz said the ranch was required to provide a park, according to a previously approved ordinance. The site for that park was near Lalamilo, but the location of the land the ranch gave to the county is a better location for the county and for the community, she added.

“It works perfectly for a park,” she said.

Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald said the next steps will be permitting and securing funding. He said he did not know, offhand, how much the full park would cost to build. Friday was a county furlough day, and Fitzgerald was not in his office.

The Waimea community may pitch in to cover some of the costs.

“There’s a great community up there that wants to rally behind this park,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a partnership.”

The park will include two football or soccer fields and a youth baseball field, Parker Ranch officials said. Plans also envision a community gymnasium, parking and gathering areas. The county will also need to build an access road to the park, Guilloz said.

The ranch has the option of giving the county another 26 acres to expand the district park into a regional park, officials said.

Fitzgerald said he is excited to get started on the project.

“That community is long overdue for park improvements,” he said.