‘World-class’ playground at Ala Moana Park could be set for construction next year

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Renderings show that developers are thinking of adding a massive “world-class” playground with zip-lines, slides and more.

“Ala Moana is probably the most heavily used park in the state of Hawaii,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. 

“There’s no playground in this huge park of 127 acres, so how do we provide another activity for our keiki who need more places to go especially in our urban core?” He said. “Ala Moana is smack dab between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, a lot of people live in this area.”

The idea for the playground came from a group of mothers and the nonprofit Paani Kakou. The group raising money through private donations.  

“We provide the land and back up resources, but they come forth with money, design and build this program,” Mayor Caldwell said. 

The group seeking about $2 million for play equipment and construction costs.  

The Kakaako/Ala Moana neighborhood board voting 5 to 1 in favor of the concept.

“I think overall, it’s really a fantastic amenity for the people of Honolulu,” said Kakaako/Ala Moana neighborhood board chair Ryan Tam.

The fenced-in park would be free and open to the public and would feature mini zip-lines, slides, swings, and a splash pad.

Kamber Melissa lives nearby and has a seven month old and a 2-year-old. “They would love it, it would be so much entertainment for them, they would just have a blast playing,” she said. 

Tam tells me concerns raised by the community included parking and traffic, and building in an area vulnerable to sea level rise

“I don’t think everyone’s had enough time to put input and study the whole plan,” said one Ala Moana Beach Park user. 

Tam saying the group sought the kids advice on what to build at the park. 

“They actually changed the design based on that. I think a lot of the kids they said they wanted the zip-lines so they put more of those zip-lines into the design,” Tam said.  

The group still needs building permits to continue but construction is scheduled to begin next year. 

“I do think they have the ability to raise the money quickly and we want to help expedite permits so this can get done as quickly as possible,” Mayor Caldwell said. 

A concession stand at the park would sell items like sunscreen and rash guards. The money collected would go towards maintaining the park. 

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