Mayor Pledges Park Improvements for Leeward Oahu

Michell Branigan
Michell Branigan
View from Chopper 8 of homeless camps dotting the Waianae coast.
View from Chopper 8 of homeless camps dotting the Waianae coast.

WAIANAE (KHNL) - The Leeward Coast of Oahu could look a lot different in the next few months.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann unveiled a multi-million dollar program that will clean up beach parks on that side of the island.

For residents, it's part of a trade off.  They bear the burden of having the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill in their backyard.

So in return, the city will spend $2 million cleaning up parks in Kapolei, Makaha and areas in between.

"I think it's awesome. I think we're about due," said Michell Branigan, Waianae resident.

One million will be spent on park and beach improvements and another million will provide grants to address problems or concerns of residents.

"We want all our city beaches to be clean, accessible and well-kept, to reflect the beauty of our island and our responsibility as stewards of these public facilities," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

Beginning in August, Waianae District Park will receive $350,000 for maintenance and repairs.

Other areas will be cleaned beginning in September. Mayor Hannemann says the community will help decide what will happen to homeless people now living in these areas.

"We would like to get back with what taxpayers would like to see with their dollars. The parks should be available for everyone and not just one segment of the community," said Mayor Hannemann.

Residents we talked to say this cleanup effort will make these parks more of a destination for their families.

"I'll feel better about my kids playing in the playground," said Branigan.