Mayor Billy Kenoi joined Council Vice Chair Karen Eoff, Councilmember Dru Mamo Kanuha, and members of the Kona community to open a new playground at Kailua Park near the Old Airport in Kona – a hub of activity for families participating in soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, and any number of other sports in the surrounding fields and nearby Kekuaokalani Gymnasium.
“Growing up in Kona, we didn’t have many of these playgrounds. This project was an important investment in our community, in our keiki, and in our families,” Kanuha said.
With multiple areas designed for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years old, the playground features swings, multiple slides, climbing rings, covered decks, benches, picnic tables, and a pavilion.
The $440,677.00 playground, built by IPR Hawaii, also features a grass-like safety surface and canopies for shade from the hot Kona sun.
“This playground was worth every penny. It’s not only a place for children to enjoy, but a place for parents and grandparents to spend time together with their families,” said Kenoi, who credited the work of the Department of Parks & Recreation team and the contractors for getting the job done.
“My older daughter plays soccer here, so every time we would drive by she’d be looking out the window, waiting for it to open,” said Michelle Eggers, who brought her two children to enjoy the new playground. “It’s really nice. Beautiful.”
In recent years, the county has built new or replacement playgrounds in Kailua, Honokaa, Panaewa, Pohoiki, Mountain View, Keaau, Pahoa, Waiakea Uka, and at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo. A playground is also currently being installed at Hilo’s Gilbert Carvalho Park.
These projects represent a $3 million investment in keiki playgrounds since the Kenoi administration took office in December 2008.