KEEHI LAGOON, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - People who frequent an Oahu park say the city needs to take better care of the scenic spot.
A damaged restroom at Keehi Lagoon Beach Park has been off limits since an arson fire more than two years. A drinking water fountain has been knocked over and the playground surface is also torn up.
Wally Kohashikawa and his son, Sean, began daily clean-ups at the park more than a year ago. They steadily built up a pile of bulky trash, including tires they pulled out of the water. Then a swell last month washed in marine debris and garbage that left the two volunteers overwhelmed.
"We can't do anything because it's a little bit too much for us. It's up to the people with machines and trucks and manpower to do it," said Kohashikawa.
Dennis Saludes walks his three dogs at the park each morning.
"I feel they should at least repair the bathroom and maybe clean up a little bit more and maybe get rid of some of the homeless people out here because it's kind of spooky," said the Salt Lake resident. "They should at least get it together and do something about it because it's getting pretty bad."
After Hawaii News Now contacted the city, workers hauled away the tires and patched up the playground surface. Park officials said the playground is one of about a dozen on the mayor's list for refurbishment or replacement.
"There isn't any timeline at this time, but it is on the list so we're hoping within the next year that it will be replaced, especially the resilient surface," said Michele Nekota, director of the city's Department of Parks and Recreation.
Nekota said the restroom is slated to be replaced, but the process is being delayed by strict requirements from the state Historic Preservation Division.
The city also plans to remove the marine debris and enlist the help of community volunteers.
"We have approximately 300 parks around the island and anytime you see anything illegal, dumping, or if you have any adopt-a-park groups, we'd love to hear from you," said Nekota.
City crews have refurbished or installed 78 playgrounds over about three years, according to park officials.