Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL
MAKAHA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –
A Honolulu city councilwoman has introduced a new bill to clean up filthy parks.
Kymberly Pine, District 1, hopes the measure will make it easier for volunteers to fix facilities in their communities.
Aside from the new bill, Pine launched her Hoa Paka Adopt-a-Park Leeward Program in March. Makaha Community Park is the first park to be adopted under that program. Graffiti, makeshift toilet paper holders, and worn out rooftops are just a few things those in Leeward Oahu community hope to get rid of. But Pine says right now it’s not that easy.
“It’s been very frustrating and difficult to do because of the bureaucracy. We hope that this legislation simplifies the entire process so groups and businesses, large and small, can give back what they want to give back without any roadblocks,” said Pine, District 1.
For example, she says under the current law, if plumbing is backed up at one of the park bathrooms, someone in the community can’t just fix it, and months go by before something is done.
She says liability insurance and certification will still be necessary, but she is hoping to bridge the gap between bureaucracy and community so everyone can lend a helping hand.
“The park people have a big job. But this is a way to help and kokua,” said Eric Enos, Director of Kaala Farms.
Enos was born and raised in Makaha. He is one of many people who want to help. He says the idea is that people take pride in their community and parks, which will hopefully reduce the amount of crime in their neighborhood.
“A lot of times the vandalism is kids who aren’t connected to themselves or to their place. So the parks are a great place to run programs, and the more programs you have, the more pride, the more kids are connected, the less chance that they’ll vandalize,” Enos said.
Pine says this will be possible through members of the community donating their time and services and the money will not come from the taxpayer.
In July, Hawaii News Now brought you a story about the atrocious beach bathrooms on the North Shore.
Pine says through this new bill and her already-existing program, Makaha Community Park will hopefully lay the foundation for all parks island wide.
The first reading for Pine’s bill will be on Wednesday, Oct. 8.