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Blessing held for new Honokaa Park playground

Keiki enjoy the new playground at Honokaa Park. (Photo courtesy of Department of Parks and Recreation)

Keiki enjoy the new playground at Honokaa Park. (Photo courtesy of Department of Parks and Recreation)

MEDIA RELEASE

Excited schoolchildren from Ka Hale O Na Keiki Preschool this week became the first keiki to enjoy Hawaii County’s newest playground.

The $295,000 play area at Honokaa Park was opened Tuesday morning following a public blessing and dedication ceremony.

“I was first approached by Joycelyn Embernate about her concern for a safe place for our children to play, but many other community members have called about the same concern,” County Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter said. “This new playground will provide opportunities for all of our children to stay active and play in a safe area, with their families.”

Located next to the park’s gymnasium, the playground features a play area designed for children 2 to 5 years old and another for bigger keiki between the ages of 5 and 12 years old.

Multiple slides, climbing rings, covered decks and a grass-like safety surface comprise the playground’s modular design. It replaces obsolete play equipment.

“Providing new opportunities for play and recreation for our children is all part of our effort to create healthy, safe communities for our families,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said. “Mahalo to Councilmember Poindexter, to our Parks and Recreation Department, and to everyone who worked to make this project a reality.”

The new Honokaa playground is part of the county’s commitment to expand recreation islandwide to meet the needs of Hawaii Island’s diverse and growing population.

In addition to opening new playgrounds in Puna, Hilo and Kona, the Department of Parks and Recreation is currently replacing old playgrounds at Kailua Park, Gilbert Carvalho Park and Waiakea-Uka Park. Once those projects are completed, Kenoi’s administration will have invested more than $3 million in new playground construction since taking office in December 2008.

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