WAIMEA, Hawaiii (KHON2) — The Department of Land and Natural Resources is teaming up with community members to urge the public to respect Polihale State Park on Kauai.

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Last year, the state closed off the park because of illegal activity including large gatherings, camping and people off-roading in the sand dunes.

The park was reopened in December for day use only.

Community members who have traced their ancestral roots back to the area are asking beachgoers to not only be respectful but treat the area as a sacred place.

“Polihale is like our home,” said Raylene “Sissy” Kahale, Polihale lineal descendent. “You don’t go the bathroom at the same place you sleep or eat off. This place is so sacred. I don’t think people realize the mana that it brings and gives.”

Kahale says polihale is not just a big beach as depicted in social media.

She says it’s a home and resting place to generations of her family.