Volunteers to build another Hanapepe playground

Inspired by the success of the playground they built last year at Hanapepe Cliffside Park, the same team of neighborhood volunteers has taken on the challenge of organizing another playground project.

More than 20 skilled volunteers turned out last Saturday to help pour the concrete foundation for a state-of-the-art playground at Hanapepe Heights Park.

“This is a fine example of neighbors working together and partnering with government, organizations and local businesses for the benefit of their community,” said Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste in a press release. “It’s heartwarming to see this kind of collaboration.”

According to organizers, the number of volunteers involved in the playground project has grown and it has become a family effort.

Even neighborhood kids showed up on Saturday with boots and trowels to help with the finish work on the foundation and sidewalks. They created attractive leaf prints in the sidewalks and made steppingstones with leftover concrete.

The playground build date at Hanapepe Heights Park is set for June 3. Anyone interested in participating in the project is invited to bring some basic carpentry tools and join in the effort.

Shane Walsh of Play Hawai‘i will direct the volunteers and oversee the installation of the rubber fall protection.

Project team leader Bart Garcia is excited about one of the new play structures that will be assembled and installed on June 3. In the release, he describes it as “a lookout tower with a telescope that will have a great view of the cane fields and the ocean.”

The playground is expected to be ready for summer use. A blessing and celebration will be scheduled upon completion of the project.

Support for the organization of this neighborhood effort emerged from the county’s Ka Leo O Kaua’i program and the county has provided building materials and a Ho’olokahi grant for the playground equipment.

Additional supplies and play equipment were purchased with a challenge grant from Kaboom, a national nonprofit organization, and the Home Depot along with contributions from local businesses.

The Garden Island RC and D in Lihu‘e is currently providing administrative and fiscal support for the project.

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