Categorized | Volunteering

Anuenue Playground on agenda at Waimea meeting (June 3)

County P&R staff James Auhoon and Cale Yamauchi, volunteer Alex Woodbury, the West Hawaii Concrete driver, P&R staff member Anthony Corrales and Fred Dickson of Pearl Contracting pour cement at Waimea Park's Anuenue Playground. (Photo courtesy of Sherman Warner)

MEDIA RELEASE

Waimea’s popular, signature Anuenue Playground at Waimea Park, which was conceived, funded and constructed by the community almost 20 years ago, is in serious need of repair and replacement.

The original project, piloted by Kathy Long, John Ray and the Waimea Outdoor Circle, involved hundreds of helping hands and donations – from pennies from children to deep-pocketed gifts and thousands of volunteer hours.

The agreement from the start with the county was that the community would maintain the playground.

The community did so for a number of years and the all-cedar playground weathered “remarkably well,” said Waimea home and construction inspection expert, Alex Woodbury. But many features of Anuenue are no longer safe, and federal rules governing playground safety have changed.

As a result, county Parks & Recreation staff have been pressure washing and resealing playground equipment as well as removing rotted and dangerous features, including the swings. Two replacement swing sets were fabricated, thanks to P&R Superintendent Carl “Deac” deCamp with support from Councilman Pete Hoffmann.

Then, last week, because county funds, manpower and equipment dedicated to the repairs are limited, Waimea resident Mel Macy, a public park advocate, secured donation of a truckload of concrete from West Hawaii Concrete, and volunteers Alex Woodbury and Fred Dickson donated their equipment and time to dig out new footings and help county P&R staff pour concrete to install the swing sets.

This was the first of what is expected to be many work days needed to restore Anuenue Playground and bring it up to current safety standards. Work is also planned to improve many other recreational features at Waimea Park.

The entire community — especially families and sports teams that use the park regularly — are invited to a “Call To Action” Town Meeting at 5:15 p.m., Thursday, June 3 on the front lanai of Parker School’s historic Barbara Hall.

Organized by Waimea Community Association (WCA), working in collaboration with Waimea Preservation Association and the Waimea Outdoor Circle, the meeting will begin with a walking tour of Anuenue Playground and Waimea Park to inspect problem areas, including dead trees.

The group will then return to Barbara Hall to discuss priorities, fundraising and to organize volunteers.

Leading the Call to Action are a team of volunteers including Alex Woodbury, Waimea Preservation Association’s Bill Sanborn and Laura Dierenfield, Councilman Pete Hoffmann, WCA President Sherman Warner and WCA Board member Alycia Juvik and WOC members led by President Mary Mangarin-Kitchen and Ken Block.

Everyone is invited to the Call To Action Town Meeting. Waimea Starbucks is providing hot coffee and potluck snacks are welcome.

Donations to help underwrite restoring Anuenue Playground may be made to the not-for-profit Waimea Preservation Association (with a memo that the donation is for the playground) and will be tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

For information, call Sherman Warner (895-6271), email shermw@hawaiiantel.net, or visit www.WaimeaTown.org

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