The Trust for Public Land is launching our Parks for People program in Hawaiʻi! In our initial pilot project at ʻAʻala Park, The Trust for Public Land will work with the surrounding area, employing our collaborative grass-roots community-based participatory design process where residents, park users, and businesses create a shared vision for the future of ʻAʻala Park, honoring its rich history and diversity.
ʻAʻala Park is a 6.69-acre city-owned park in the heart of an exceptionally dense and underserved community. This urban ʻāina (land) is located in the Kapālama Ahupuaʻa (traditional Hawaiian land division) of the Kona District of Oʻahu, part of a historical breadbasket in present day ʻIwilei, Honolulu Harbor, Sand Island, and Pearl Harbor.
The area was once famed for a complex of Hawaiian fishponds and wetlands. The park was built in the early 1900s and thrived as a political rallying place, a site for ethnic festivals and community sports leagues, and was a bustling hub of activity next to the City’s main train station located across the street for generations. But historical and social challenges continue to shape the negative activity associated with the park today.
ʻAʻala Park is an incredible opportunity to serve our ʻāina by utilizing The Trust for Public Land’s community-driven Parks for People strategy to improve health outcomes, foster neighborhood ownership, promote collaboration and enhance quality of life.