HONOLULU - Get a glimpse of what Oahu’s recreational future might be when three of Honolulu’s South Shore parks are temporarily linked for a day, a first step in creating a Lei of Parks that could eventually stretch from Waikiki to Nanakuli.

Folks could walk, bike and enjoy family-friendly activities at Ala Moana Regional Park, Kewalo Basin Park and Kakaako Waterfront Park on Saturday. Temporary signs, ground chalk stencils, and traffic controls let people easily walk and bike through all three parks.

Participants could take walking tours of historic sites and exceptional trees, get beach volleyball tips, walk with a doctor, sample coral friendly sunscreen, enjoy a keiki friendly bike ride, and practice yoga at nine “passport” stations throughout the three parks. 

The Lei of Parks Coalition sponsored the Lei of Parks Family Day with funding from AARP’s Community Challenge Grant, a program which funds “quick action” programs to help make communities more livable for people of all ages.

The Lei of Parks is a long-standing community vision of a network of pedestrian walkways and bike paths connecting parks along the South Shore of O‘ahu from Leahi )Diamond Head) to Nanakuli, providing healthy carbon-free alternatives for transportation, increasing public access to our shorelines, and improving access to parks and healthy, recreational activities. The concept is included in long-term transportation, planning, and park plans for the city and state.

“This pop-up family event will give park users the opportunity to experience a small portion of the Lei of Parks in a fun and interactive way and give their feedback on what the community would like to see in the future.” said Lea Hong, State Director of The Trust for Public Land, which is leading organization of the event. “No one on O‘ahu is far from parks, beaches and recreational activities and we should make the most of what’s available and free for all of us to use. The Lei of Parks concept will make our shoreline more accessible for people of all ages.”

“AARP is happy to support the Lei of Park Family Day because it shows how Honolulu is an age-friendly and livable city, with opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life," said Barbara Kim Stanton, the State Director of AARP Hawaii. "We invite everyone-from kupuna to keiki - to enjoy our parks, get some exercise and take advantage of our ability to walk and bike along the shoreline."

Activities at the passport stations in the parks included social bicycle share rides for people 50 and older, a keiki-friendly bicycle ride, Historic Hawaii Foundation walking tours, an Outdoor Circle exceptional trees walking tour, a beach volleyball clinic for middle and high school students, walking with a doctor, yoga, and free coral-friendly sunscreen samples.

Supporting organizations for the Lei of Parks Family Day include:  The Trust for Public Land (lead organizer), AARP Community Challenge (lead funder), Alaska Airlines, City and County of Honolulu Parks & Recreation, Hawai‘i Community Development Authority, Ward Village, Hawai‘i Bicycling League, National Park Service Rivers & Trails Conservation Assistance Program, BIKI, All Good, Raw Elements USA, Humana, Coach Evan Silberstein, Dr. Theresa Wee, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, Outdoor Circle, HHF Planners, Blue Zones Project, KUPU, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, WRNS Studio, AARP Hawai‘i, UNITE HERE! Local 5, Children’s Discovery Center, Yoga for My Homies, Menehune Water Co., Age Friendly Cities, the University of Hawai‘i Community Design Center, and the American Institute of Architecture Students Hawai‘i Chapter.

For more information:  https://www.facebook.com/leiofparks/

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