What We’re Doing
Creating and revitalizing urban parks with communities in Hawai’i to improve health and quality of life.
Create a foundation of urban community park success that can be replicated across the state.
At Trust for Public Land, we believe that everyone should have a park, playground, trail, or other natural places within a 10-minute walk of home.
Creating and revitalizing parks has the power to transform communities. Our community driven process fosters a strong sense of place and connection to nature, and Trust for Public Land supports the development of parks and public spaces every step of the way. We bring communities together to identify sites for new parks and close-to-home natural areas, and activate and renew existing parks. We share stewardship and management techniques to ensure new and revitalized publicly owned lands are enjoyed, maintained, and loved well after opening day. Every day, we see that when children have the chance to learn from and play in nature, when neighborhoods have safe community gathering space to enjoy the outdoors, and when neighbors of different backgrounds build community bonds – everybody wins.
In 2020, we launched our urban Parks for People program in Hawai‘i with a pilot project at ‘A‘ala Park on O‘ahu. With over 18,000 people living within a 10-minute walk of the park, ‘A‘ala presents an incredible opportunity to help local residents improve their health and quality of life, bringing The Trust for Public Land’s nationally-recognized parks expertise to bear. We will support a grass-roots and community participatory visioning and planning process in which surrounding residents and businesses come together to articulate a shared vision for the Park that honors its past and looks toward a shared future. Together we can create a safe, welcoming ‘A‘ala Park for the children, families, seniors, and the general public who live and work in the area. Our long-term goal is to create a foundation for park and community success that can be replicated across the state.
Trust for Public Land is launching our Parks for People program in Hawaiʻi! In our initial pilot project at ʻAʻala Park, 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 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.