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Blessing held for future Centennial Park Waikīkī

Nearly one-acre green space realized as part of public-private partnership with Rotary Club of Honolulu

WAIKĪKĪ -- The City's 304th park location moved closer to reopening following a blessing of Centennial Park Waikīkī in the heart of O‘ahu's tourist district today.

The development of the nearly one-acre park land. located on Aloha Drive between Royal Hawaiian and Seaside avenues, is thanks to a public-private partnership between the City and the Rotary Club of Honolulu, which included the donation of $1.532 million from the Rotarians.

Joined by Honolulu Parks and Recreation Director Michele Nekota, Rotary Club of Honolulu Representatives Rob Hale and Bub Wo, and Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts Executive Director Misty Kela‘i, Mayor Kirk Caldwell recognized the partnership that formalized the creation of this park in summer 2016.

"The city had the land and the Rotary Club of Honolulu had the money and the energy," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "We came together and transformed an area in the heart of Waikīkī that had long been neglected. This park has been transformed into a much needed and long dreamed of green space for the residents of Waikīkī. The dream began with Bill Sweatt, who lived in the area and observed the degraded nature of the lot which was derelict and used as a construction staging area. His dream was carried forward by the Rotary Club of Honolulu, with a park now named "Centennial Park," in recognition of the Rotary Club of Honolulu's 100th anniversary last year, making it one of the oldest Rotary clubs in the United States. With this blessing, we celebrate a true public private partnership, one that benefits all those who love being outdoors in a beautiful setting in in the middle of Waikīkī."

Currently the park remains closed to the public, as a landscaping maintenance period allows the wide variety of plant life to get firmly established. That plant life includes: Monkeypod trees, various palm trees, Pink Bombax trees, and smaller plants and ground cover like alahe‘e, pōhinahina, various species of ti, Eldorado, ginger, and Queen Emma and Kalākaua spider lilies. All amidst lush Dwarf St. Augustine Grass.

The park is expected to open to the public by February 2021, but the ambitions of the Rotary Club of Honolulu aim to continue improving the site.

"We are very much looking forward to opening this park location to this community, and towards our future goals of providing better lighting and fencing for the park," said Rob Hale, chairman of the Centennial Park Committee for the Rotary Club of Honolulu. "This project wouldn't be possible without our partnership with City, but also from the countless hours of volunteer work and donations made by our amazing island community. They have truly put their blood, sweat, and tears into making this park a reality. Mahalo to each and every one of them."

The name Centennial Park Waikīkī was approved via Resolution 20-232 and commemorates the Hawai‘i Rotary Club's 100 year anniversary of providing outstanding community service to our island.

For more information about Centennial Park Waikīkī, and how you can help the Rotary Club of Honolulu's efforts to revitalize this park land, please visit

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