Last week, non-profit group KaBoom! and Let’s Play, a community sponsorship program led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, announced that NiuValleyPlayground.com had won $15,000 in a social media contest, competing against 50 other communities around the country by garnering the top five votes on a Facebook page.
“Hawaii has again shown that it has a vibrant social media network that will flex its muscle to get behind a good cause,” said Peter Kay, the Association’s Vice Chair. “This is not the first time that Hawaii’s online community has won an online contest and it’s gratifying that as a community, we can successfully compete at a national level.”
NiuValleyPlayground.com is raising $100,000 to purchase playground equipment and is asking the community to visit their website to donate an online contribution. The playground is a public-private partnership, designed by local resident Mike McFarlane of Island Recreation and planned by Matt Graves, a licensed architect with Homeworks and Niu Valley resident. Homeworks has committed to the site preparation, including grading. The HMSA Foundation has also provided a $5,000 grant for this project.
According to the Niu Valley Community Association, their neighborhood on O`ahu is the sole remaining community that does not have a playground.
“Since the first residents of the Niu Valley subdivision moved into their new homes in late 1954, Niu Valley families have dreamt of having a playground where their children could enjoy unbridled play close to home,” said Jeannine Johnson, Secretary of the Association. “It is vital to the healthy development of our children that they get a great start in life, and play is an incredibly important aspect of that.”
Residents have garnered support from the Carlisle Administration, Councilmember Stanley Chang, and Justin Mew, Principal of Niu Valley Middle School which lies adjacent to the park.
“I applaud the residents’ efforts and look forward to continue working with them on this project,” said Mayor Carlisle.
Chang said that the playground “would complement the park’s existing features and provide activities to further attract children and famlies of the area.”