By: Vanessa Distajo
The Manoa Branch of The Outdoor Circle is currently collaborating on a community service project with City Council member, Ann Kobayashi, the Department of Parks & Recreation, Malama Manoa, OASES, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Mid Pacific Institute, and various community church preschools to update the playground at Kamanele Park.
This charming park on University Avenue was granted to the City & County of Honolulu by the College Hills developers of Punahou School, and dedicated with Queen Lili'uokalani and Mayor Lane present in 1915. Its serene, natural beauty welcomes residents into Manoa Valley with the outstretched arms of the remarkable ear pod tree in the center. The perimeter of the park features massive rocks, with significance in Hawaiian culture, which have been hidden from view, under excessive amounts of overgrown invasive plant species. Sadly neglected, Kamanele Park also has dilapidated playground equipment that is not in compliance with ADA and Federal safety standards.
We were compelled to do something to help. Under the leadership of our Manoa Branch Vice President, Mike McFarlane, who serves as the Project Chair, the design team has already developed a vision of the new playground inspired by the Hawaiian Legends of Manoa Valley. The design is amazingly innovative and will incorporate the latest technology.
The estimated budget for this project is considerably large, so fundraising has commenced. The fundraising launch party was held at Bakery&Table on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Guests paid $100 per ticket for a lovely evening of dinner, wine, and swanky jazz music performed by Patrick von Weigandt, Dana Land and Pierre Grille. Corporate donors included Alexander & Baldwin and Palace Realty.
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The Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.