MAUNA KEA – A dedication ceremony for a unique keiki playground took place at the Mauna Kea Recreation Area on Monday.
General contractor Site Engineering Inc., with assistance from Takamine Construction Inc., built the 3,700-square-foot playground. Its designed for kids 5 to 12 years old, and emphasizes climbing skills through the use of ropes, rails and ladders rather than conventional features to challenge children’s physical abilities, the county says.
A synthetic turf covering a padded layer provides an attractive safety surface that also ensures the playground is accessible to people with physical or mobility challenges. Peter Tammetta, owner of Highwire Inc, told us all about the new equipment.
Mayor Billy Kenoi always saw better things for the neglected Mauna Kea State Park when it was under state management. The county assumed stewardship of the former State park on July 1, 2014, and began to make way for new restrooms, paved parking lots, picnic areas and landscaping, even installing lighted flag poles. The county has also hired security to keep an eye on the area.
There is a lot more work planned for the Mauna Kea Recreation Area. A draft environmental assessment for the project was published in July. The document details planned improvements to the potable and non-potable water systems, recreational cabins, access, parking, landscaping, park amenities and security and maintenance facilities.
According to the document, cultural practices and hunting in the region will benefit from the improved facilities.
However, hunters say they have a few concerns that still need to be addressed. Tom Lodge, chair of the Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission, spoke about the issues at a recent GMAC meeting in Hilo.