Last week, non-profit groupÂ KaBoom!Â and Let’s Play, a community sponsorship program led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, announced that NiuValleyPlayground.com Â 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 Associationâ€™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. Â Homeworks has committed to the site preparation, including grading. Â 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.
â€œSince 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,â€ said Jeannine Johnson, Secretary of the Association. Â â€œIt 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.â€
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.
â€œI applaud the residentsâ€™ efforts and look forward to continue working with them on this project,â€ 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.”