HONOLULU (KHON2) — A run-down community park on the Big Island is getting attention from concerned locals and even a mainland-based online learning company.

Residents said Waikoloa Community Park has been neglected for years, but they are working to change that.

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Waikoloa Community Park is also known as Pu’u Nui Park and Julia Alos has lived nearby for over two decades. She now serves as chairwoman of the Waikoloa Community Leadership Council and said not a lot has changed since she arrived.

“When I moved here, my son was starting kindergarten in 2001,” Alos said, “and it’s funny, walking by the community park right now, Pu’u Nui Park, a lot of the equipment — well, the few pieces that are left — are the same ones that were here when I moved here.”

The equipment is not just old, Alos said, it is dangerous. Sharp points all around one of the playgrounds pose a risk to keiki at play — when they do come around.

“I don’t see a lot of kids there, it certainly isn’t as active as it was. And it’s probably due to the deterioration of the park.”

Julia Alos, Waikoloa Community Leadership Council chairwoman

But there is hope. Waikoloa resident and mother Vanessa Lyau is part of Friends of Pu’u Nui Park, a group that will hold a build and beautify event on Sunday, May 8 to make new benches, install an ADA-compliant ramp, build new play structures and more.

Click here to visit the Friends of Pu’u Nui Park Facebook page or click here to visit their GoFundMe.

“Every mother, every father, any business owners that want to help, we want to give a job to so they can have their children, you know, tell a story,” Lyau said.

Friends of Pu’u Nui Park said they have support from TMS Construction, Clever Construction, Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth and even Edmentum; an online learning company that has helped build schools across the United States and overseas.

One project Edmentum helped with was restoring a storm-ravaged school before the pandemic in the Dominican Republic.

“And it was really special because this particular school, it was serving Hatian children who had been displaced during the previous storms,” said Edmentum CEO Jamie Candee.

Edmentum will send 120 volunteers to the May 8 build and beautify day, Candee said it is because it will take a village.

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“This is evidence of this project right here, how community members can come together in the best interest of our kids,” Candee said. So we’re really excited about it and thank you, and I would just say let’s keep focusing on our kids, they’re our future.