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County reopens Hilo playground


The county Department of Parks and Recreation has reopened the keiki playground at Kawananakoa Gym in Hilo following completion of safety repairs to its rubberized surface.

The Keaukaha community and Hilo Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi played vital roles in securing the funding needed to restore the playground so it could be returned to public use Tuesday, May 15.

Required to meet a federal accessibility mandate and industry safety standards, the playground’s poured-in-place rubber surface developed holes, creating a hazard for young users.

Parks staff determined the fall zones in certain areas of the playground were unsafe due to the compromised surface.

Safety concerns prompted the Department of Parks and Recreation to cordon off the playground March 8 and keep it closed until maintenance personnel could complete training needed to perform the technical repairs.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks Onishi and the Keaukaha Community Association for helping to finance the training that has enabled county personnel to repair playground surfaces at all Hawaii County parks.

Park users or others who encounter deteriorating playground surfaces may contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or

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