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The Phase 2 construction permit from the City & County of Honolulu was approved on February 22, 2023!

photo credit: Honolulu Dept. of Parks & Recreation


March 1, 2023 - Phase 2 construction update

The proposed Phase 2 completion timeline is December 2023, pending City approvals. Discussions are underway with Hawaiian Dredging, our construction partner for Phase 1, to provide a more accurate 2023 construction schedule for the work on Phase 2.
Phase 2 Construction Activities
  • Installation of pedestal stool seats; 
  • Completion of a raised platform with ADA access for free public performances, cultural and educational activities.
  • Decorative, lockable entrance gates on three sides of the park.
  • An exterior rock wall surround topped with a metal fence to define the park space. 
  • Design, manufacture and installation of historic, educational and donor recognition signage.
  • The design/build, look and materials for the fence and gates will vary, based on market conditions at the time of construction. We have received the required grading permit and the State Historical Preservation Division (SHPD ) approval to complete the raised platform, install the seating, rock wall, decorative fence and gates.
  • Hawaiian History and Interpretive Signage
  • Early Hawaiian history places this site atop the boundary of the cultivated taro fields and the ali‘i lands of Waikīkī. During the required archeological inventory survey conducted in 2019, an earthen kuāuna (wall or stream bank) was discovered under the park site that originally separated ali‘i lands from agricultural lands (taro lo‘i).
  • The kuāuna, which is now underground, crosses the park site. A kahawai (stream) and marshland with cultivated taro patches and other products extended from the kahawai’s mauka edge up into Mānoa and Pālolo valleys. In the 1800s, these areas were converted to rice production. The makai lands occupied by the ali‘i were used for coconut groves and fish ponds
  • In addition to our Rotary stories, the Centennial Park Waikīkī Committee is working with the Hawaiian community to curate authentic mo‘ōlelo (stories) about the area on which the park is situated, which is rich with Native Hawaiian history.
  • We are planning to share these stories on bi-lingual signage throughout the park so that everyone can learn more about our island home.

February 1, 2021: Opening Day at Centennial Park Waikīkī, Phase 1 construction completed

Maile cutting ceremony at Centennial Park Waikīkī with Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Rotary leaders and community supporters.
photo credit: David Livingston

Despite the pandemic, 2020-2021 were years of great accomplishment for Centennial Park Waikīkī as Phase 1 construction, which created the green pocket park from a debris-littered vacant lot, was completed. Phase 1 included clearing and grading the site, planting of major trees, greenery and sod, pouring and finishing the concrete interior walkway, installing piping for underground electricity and sprinklers, and partial construction of the raised platform for community use.

The nearly one-acre lot is now home to flourishing monkey pod trees, coconut palms and other City-approved trees and a wide grass lawn. The site is nicely landscaped with shrubs and flowering plants and regular weeding activities help the plantings thrive.

Centennial Park Waikīki officially opened to the public on February 1, 2021. Since then, every day, neighbors and visitors alike are enjoying the space, including families with infants and toddlers, friends tossing balls, folks exercising around the loop, yoga and martial art practitioners, and people who have just come to enjoy a cup of coffee in the fresh air. Young families gather to play on the grass late in the day, while older residents use the walking path mostly in the morning.

The park is helping to build social structures for the local community of approximately 32,000 residents, of which a high number are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families. During the height of the pandemic, the park became, and remains, a critical outdoor recreation area for residents, especially for those who live in the small condos in the neighboring high rise buildings surrounding the park.

The City & County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for maintenance, and we are augmenting what they do through our volunteer Park Care Committee. Since August 2021, this committee of Rotarians, led by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Honolulu, park neighbors and friends have been removing weeds from the park fence and plant beds on regularly scheduled, organized workdays.

A Green Oasis in Waikīkī

Waikiki of today is worlds away from the wetlands, mudflats, fishponds and taro fields of the past. A walk among the modern concrete towers of our world-famous tourist destination reveals little in the way of culture or history and even less in green space.
Thanks to to the efforts of Rotary District 5000, Rotary Club of Honolulu, Rotarians throughout the State of Hawaii, the City and County of Honolulu, friends, neighbors and businesses throughout Honolulu and beyond our shores, the only remaining patch of under-developed land in central Waikiki is being transformed from a barren debris-strewn gravel lot into an oasis of greenery, education, culture and family activities.
More than 100 years have passed since a happenstance encounter between two Hawaii businessmen sailing aboard the luxury liner “Lurline” from San Francisco to Honolulu. The conversation about a new, community-service organization called “Rotary” enticed both men and ultimately led to the establishment of Hawaii’s first Rotary Club in July 1915. Since its founding, an additional 52 clubs have been organized and thrive throughout the State. The contributions of these clubs to Hawaii’s children, families and communities are both numerous and impactful. No doubt, our State is a far better place because of Rotary.

The Vision

The vision for Centennial Park described is subject to changes which may be dictated or required by the City and County of Honolulu, the city’s permitting process, and coordination with other government agencies, cultural advisers, fundraising or because of unforeseen circumstances or conditions.

The View

Upon arrival, visitors to Centennial Park will note the beautifully fenced perimeter, the gated entry and the secure metal fencing atop a stone wall, which will surround the park on all sides. This stylish accent will provide security in the evenings and view-ability during the day. 

Once inside, park users will stroll the concrete walking path, surrounded by coconut palms, expansive shade trees, landscaped foliage, historic signage, and pedestal seats. A raised platform, surrounded by natural boulders, will be available for performances, cultural and educational events.

We expect that people of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy the park, however dog-walking and other animals are not permitted in this park.

The History

During the pre-construction site inspection, the archaeology team located a large “kuana” (wall or stream bank) under the park site that originally separated Ali‘i lands from agricultural lands (taro lo‘i). This unusual discovery and its historic context and significance will be highlighted with signage.

The Gardens

In the true spirit of Rotary, the perimeter garden areas have been planted by Rotarians from many Clubs, under the watchful eye of professional landscaping experts. A combination of species have been selected and approved by the City to provide a lush and colorful ground cover.

The sense of unity in the creation of Centennial Park Waikīkī represents Rotary’s international mission of bringing people together to promote peace, humanity and the spirit of “Service Above Self”.

The Grand Lawn

Centennial Park is the only open, green space within central Waikīkī. The expansive lawn allows room for children to run, play and enjoy quality time with family and friends. Monkey pod and palm trees, along with new plantings provide shade and comfort for picnics and leisure activities.  For over 100 years Rotarians have dedicated themselves to bettering the lives of children and families. Centennial Park Waikīkī is a testament to the Rotarian commitment of making a better world.

The Legacy

Once Phase 2 construction is complete, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for residents and Rotarians in Hawaii will result in a timeless legacy for our community as well as the millions of families and individuals who visit O‘ahu.

Centennial Park Waikīkī exemplifies the virtues of Rotary and offers an historic gathering place of knowledge. Its construction represents the commitment to achieve meaningful, positive change within a community. Its landscaped grounds provide an oasis for children to run, play and enjoy the freedom and fancy of childhood. Its signage will share the story of Rotary's impact in Hawaii and the amazing changes in Waikīkī over the past 100 years.

Finally, the hand planted foliage lining the park perimeter signify the coming together of volunteer Rotarians from many Clubs in Hawaii and their friends and neighbors.

The dedication of community individuals in this unifying effort have transformed a littered, barren patch of earth into a beautiful gathering place for future generations to learn, thrive and enjoy!

We welcome your continued assistance to maintain this beautiful community gathering place.

To donate or offer in-kind support toward the Phase 2 construction of Centennial Park Waikīkī, please use the pledge form or contact Rob Hale, Chair, Centennial Park Committee at the Rotary Club of Honolulu, 808-922-5526. 

Tax-deductible donations and your pledge form may be mailed to: District 5000 Foundation Centennial Park, c/o Rotary Club of Honolulu, 705 Queen St., Honolulu, HI 96813.



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