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Community vision for Lahaina Harborfront area begins to unfold

By Staff | Sep 8, 2016

From left, Lahaina Arts Association Board Member Darice McGuire, Koana Smith of Lahaina Arts Society and LAS President Eric DeMaria scrub 30 years of grime off benches in Banyan Tree Park.

LAHAINA – The current construction in front of the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor is the first phase of a multi-phase, county-funded community plan to improve the area from Canal Street to Market Street from the harbor to Front Street. This area is very significant historically and culturally, is heavily used by residents and visitors, and has fallen into disrepair over the years. That is now changing as the community vision for a pedestrian-first environment begins to unfold.

Brick-like pavers are being installed in the area in front of the small boat harbor, and construction will begin on the two trellis shade structures shortly. Seating will be available under the trellis as well as on the top edge of the new rock planters. All harbor booths selling ocean activities remain open for business during this project. This first phase is expected to be complete by the end of October.

Volunteers from the Lahaina Arts Society, Lahaina Arts Association and the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise kicked off the Banyan Tree Park phase of the improvement project with the restoration of 13 teak benches.

The LAS and LAA volunteers scrubbed 30 years of grime off the benches on Friday afternoon, and the Rotary volunteers arrived early Saturday to apply a protective finish coat to the benches. Lahaina Restoration Foundation will upgrade the benches with the addition of teak armrests.

Further improvements to Banyan Tree Park include resetting the existing 12-inch by 12-inch pavers to eliminate uneven surfaces, moving pavers that encroach on aerial roots of the tree, restoring the other benches in the park and improving the signage. The Banyan Tree Park phase is expected to be complete in the spring of 2017.

Rotarian Brian Beach refinishes benches in Banyan Tree Park.

Plans are also underway to landscape the grassy area on the Front Street side of Lahaina Public Library. Lahaina Restoration Foundation is working with the Maui Friends of the Library to redesign the space as a Native Hawaiian garden with an emphasis on kalo plantings. A rock wall on the north side of the space will be stabilized using traditional Hawaiian dry stack stone masonry.

The state Department of Land & Natural Resources will be dovetailing their new land-based harbor improvements with the ongoing projects by utilizing the same design elements, pavers, etc. to provide a seamless blending of county and state projects.

Mahalo to everyone, especially the harbor ticket booths for their patience during the construction. We are making good progress and look forward to the completion of these well-deserved improvements in historic Lahaina Town.


Construction is underway in front of Lahaina Small Boat Harbor in the first phase of a multi-phase, county-funded community plan led by Lahaina Restoration Foundation. Here, brick-like pavers are being installed in the area in front of the harbor.