A community park has been left in disrepair for years. Community members want the city to let them take over upkeep. But with so many other parks across the city also in need of help could this be the answer to keeping up with Honolulu’s neglected parks?
Councilmember Ernie Martin says he has been talking about getting the basketball courts at Pupukea fixed for years but nothing was ever done. He says that soon could change.
“It doesn’t even look like a basketball court anymore,” said North Shore resident Mike McNeace. “It looks kind of like a soccer field because it is all just weeds now.”
Weeds, rusty fencing and no basketball hoop on a basketball court is what you will see if you are driving along Kamehameha Highway in Pupukea.
“Five years ago the parks director came before the council at a hearing and I said, ‘Which is the worst play courts in the the City and County of Honolulu?’ He admitted that the Pupukea play courts was the worst by far,” said Honolulu City Councilmember Ernie Martin.
Fast forward to today and the court still sits in the same, if not worse shape, and according Martin it is not the only North Shore park that needs some help.
“A lot of the parks are neglected unfortunately for some reason they have not received the attention that they should,” said Martin.
But with so many parks how can the city keep up with them all? North Shore resident and neighborhood board member Mike McNeace says why not let the communities who use the parks take over.
“I think that is what we need we need more community involvement in our beach parks,” said McNeace.
City officials tell me they are working with a group called Malama Pupukea Waimea to fix the park. The group will be paying for the work which includes court reconstruction, a new chain link fence as well as other upgrades.
While the courts at Pupukea will be getting a face lift there are still countless other parks that need help.
A city spokesperson told KHON2 that the work planned for the Pupukea basketball court “is the kind of public private partnership that Mayor Caldwell supports and will go along way in paying positive dividends to the North Shore Community.”
Martin hopes to see this kind of public private partnership continue at other parks in the city.
“I think the Pupukea play courts is going to be a model with which the city can follow in which the community has really stepped forward and embraced,” said Martin.