The Lihue Boys & Girls Club associated with Get Fit Kauai and the Lihue County of Kauai Planning Department completed an assessment of Kalena Park. The youth found the park underutilized despite its prime location near Lihue’s business district. They surveyed people utilizing the park, including a nearby fire department, as well as the homeless, to envision a park inclusive for all residents.
The 10 students presented their ideas to the county council and a month later the mayor and council unanimously agreed to grant $80,000 to the redevelopment of Kalena Park. A new action group was also formed, the Kalena Park Community Action Group, comprised of residents ranging from middle school youth to senior citizens.
“Young people are key to effective community decision-making and positive outcomes for local residents,” said Bev Brody, director of Get Fit Kauai. “The YEAH! project taught a group of our young people to become agents of change as they learned how to create better places for themselves and others to live.”
Since the presentation, the park hosted a movie night for community members and their families using a large inflatable movie screen. Over 100 people attended the event.