County Opens New Skatepark in Līhu‘e
County officials have announced the opening of a new skatepark at the Līhu‘e Civic Center.
Located in front of the county’s recently painted Hōlua mural on the east-facing wall of the Līhu‘e Civic Center’s Pi‘ikoi Building, the skatepark was installed in early October through efforts coordinated by the county and community volunteers.
“This skatepark has brought new life and purpose to this area,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “It provides a safe space for our youth, and youth at heart. Our keiki should not be forced to skate in dark, back alleys because they have nowhere else to go. This skatepark was a small, creative project that has already made a huge impact in our community. Thank you to our planning and parks departments, and the dedicated volunteers who gave up their time and resources to make this project possible.”
Through the Līhu‘e Town Core Mobility and Revitalization project, funded by the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, the county was able to recently renovate the Līhu‘e Civic Center parking lot, but there were no final plans to change the former Big Save space in the Pi‘ikoi Building. Officials decided to build a temporary “pop-up” skatepark in order to utilize the space now, and until a long-term use of the space is considered.
The cost of the skatepark project totaled approximately $9,000, which was funded through a quick-build grant from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) with a purpose to enhance public spaces in ways that will encourage physical activity. The grant funds projects that can be quickly implemented in months, instead of years, and that can help the community envision more permanent, long-term solutions.
“This was a great experience to work with our county team, local artists, and dedicated community volunteers to re-imagine this underused space,” said county Transportation Planner Lee Steinmetz. “With these quick-build funds from the Department of Health, we are learning how to just ‘try it’ with minimal investment, see how it works, assess community support, and then decide whether to invest in more permanent facilities.”
Additionally, the Hōlua mural, which was painted by artists Seth Womble and Samuel Schryver in August, was envisioned to complement the incoming skatepark. The theme of the mural links together the historic nature of the Līhu‘e town core, traditional Hawaiian sport, and the youthful exuberance of a skatepark.
Skatepark users are advised to follow all safety measures as posted. For more information regarding county park rules, contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 808-241-4460 or [email protected]