Improvements coming to some Oahu playgrounds

It’s no secret that many of the city’s playgrounds are wearing down. Back in January, KHON2 found broken equipment and graffiti littering the playground at Wahiawa District Park. It was the same case at Waipahu Uka Park.

But now, KHON2 has learned that improvements are on the way. The city has put out two bids to repair or replace a total of eight playgrounds across Oahu.

The list includes Koko Head Neighborhood Park, Kalihi Valley District Park, Wahiawa District Park, Aweoweo Beach Park, Maili Community Park, Pupuole Street Mini Park, Lehua Community Park and Waipahu Uka Park.

At Kalihi Valley District Park, there aren’t any swings and the playground’s surface has cracks so deep, a phone could fit inside.

Kokua Kalihi Valley is a non-profit group that uses the playground. “It’s very hard. It’s hard for the kids, you know. I mean, they can’t (play on it),” said Vailima Watson of Kokua Kalihi Valley.

Watson has been with the organization since 1990 and says the playground has been renovated twice. “There’s not very much places for (kids) to go and play, playground-wise,” Watson said.

Over at Koko Head Neighborhood Park, there used to be a playground right next to Koko Head Elementary School, where students play during recess.

“We had slides, a couple of slides, and an area where they could climb and slide down a pole,” said Colleen Matsuda, an educational assistant at Koko Head Elementary School.

Matsuda says the playground was torn down due to safety concerns, like cracks in the plastic. When KHON2 told her plans were in the works for a new playground, she responded, “Oh, great! Great, because all they have is that little equipment over there… (The kids) definitely will enjoy a new playground. Definitely.”

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