The Reeds Bay banyan tree may be getting a stay of execution.
County plans to redevelop Reed’s Bay Park initially included a plan to remove the two banyan trees, which have grown together and separate the the beach park site from the gravel parking area.
Public outcry has apparently forced the County to reconsider. At last month’s windward Planning Commission meeting, a number of residents asked planners to spare the historic banyans.
Banyan Drive, as the name suggests, is home to a number of large banyan trees, all planted ceremoniously by famous individuals who visited Hilo decades ago.
The County now says it may be possible to trim the trees back and work around them. Reported costs to remove the tree were estimated at $100,000.
The $1.7 million Reed’s Bay project involves demolishing and replacing the existing comfort station, which has been closed for years. A landscape overhaul is also part of the project, including adding grassy areas and replacing some existing trees with shoreline-appropriate native tree species.