HILO, Hawaii – County officials celebrated the installation of new children’s playground equipment at Waiakea-Uka Park on Monday.
Construction began in January on the park off Ainaloa Drive. The project was handled by the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation, and is part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to improving playgrounds across the island.
A public blessing and dedication ceremony for a new playground at Waiākea Uka Park was held this morning, and preschoolers from nearby Hale Aloha Nazarene School were the first to enjoy the new facility. Mayor Billy Kenoi, County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi and Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma were among the dignitaries attending the opening of the new playground.
“This is not just for the kids, it’s for the parents and grandparents,” said Mayor Kenoi. “It’s like a pu‘uhonua, a safe haven, it’s a place for all of us to be together.”
The modular playground features multiple slides, climbing rings, covered decks and a grass-like safety surface. Three benches, safety fencing and drainage improvements also are part of the $225,000 project built by IPR Inc. and Loeffler Construction.
Replacement playgrounds also are being installed at Kailua Park in Kona and Hilo’s Gilbert Carvalho Park. When completed in the coming months, those projects will boost the County of Hawai‘i’s investment in keiki playgrounds to more than $3 million in less than six years.
For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer, at (808) 345-9105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Hawaii County