2040 Lauwiliwili Street Kapolei, HI 96707

Zoo Crew

Apprentices bring their expertise to the community, volunteering time, skills and teamwork to rebuild an outdoor stage at The Honolulu Zoo.

Revitalizing Community Spaces: Honolulu Zoo’s Journey of Improvement

The Honolulu Zoo has embarked on an ambitious journey of transformation, aiming to elevate its status both within the national zoo community and among local residents. With a focused mission to become a central hub for community engagement and events, the zoo’s recent initiatives mark a significant stride towards inclusivity and educational enrichment for all ages.

A Vision for All Ages

Former acting Zoo Director Tommy Higashino reflects on the visitor demographics, noting, “Our guests typically visit as children, parents, or grandparents. Our goal is to create experiences that resonate across these life stages.” This understanding has fueled the zoo’s drive to diversify its offerings and appeal to a broader audience, ensuring that the zoo experience is a cherished part of life for Honolulu’s residents at every age.

The Outdoor Stage Initiative

A pivotal element of this revitalization effort was the construction of an outdoor stage, envisioned as a versatile venue for a variety of adult-centric programs such as lecture series, concerts, and cultural events. This stage was meant to transform the zoo from a daytime family destination to a vibrant community gathering place for all.

Challenges and Community Solutions

Despite the initial success, the stage faced significant structural issues due to exposure to moisture, leading to deterioration over time. Stepping in to address this challenge were the dedicated apprentices of the Honolulu Carpenter’s Apprenticeship & Training Fund (HCATF), in coordination with Tracy Kubota and Danny Leong of the Honolulu Zoo and the Department of Enterprise Services.

Restoration and Innovation

The restoration project was a testament to community and craftsmanship. While preserving the original foundation, the apprentices meticulously rebuilt the stage, employing advanced techniques and materials for longevity. The inclusion of a new glulam beam, joist hangers, and double-layered plywood flooring, along with a vital vapor barrier, not only restored the stage but enhanced its durability against the elements.

Acknowledgment and Future Vision

The City and County of Honolulu extended their heartfelt gratitude to the apprentices for their contribution to the community. This successful collaboration signifies a step forward in the zoo’s continuous journey towards being a treasured venue for learning, leisure, and community building.

The Takeaway

The Honolulu Zoo’s commitment to improvement reflects a broader vision of fostering a space that evolves with its community. Through challenges and changes, the zoo aspires to be a dynamic place where memories are made and shared across generations, and where every visit offers a new discovery.

Share the Post:

Related Posts