Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez (blue shirt) discusses recent improvements at May Ranch Park in the City’s north side.
May Ranch Park users are smiling these days, thanks to the City’s successful efforts to remove graffiti from park benches, repair a broken water fountain and anchoring a park bench and initiating other improvements at the heavily used recreation area.
Members of the May Ranch Neighborhood Watch group said Public Works crews blitzed the area over several days in the last two weeks.
They like the results.
“Thank you for making this park beautiful,” said Sharon Collins. “Thanks for your hard work.”
Jackie Ramos, who heads up the Neighborhood Watch group, said May Ranch residents informed City Councilman Julio Rodriguez during a meeting in early February. Within days, City work crews
sprayed a fresh coat of tan over graffiti, anchored a park bench that
had been overturned, fixed the leaking water fountain and improved
the aesthetics of the park.
Joel Barba, 8, brother Jeremy Barba, 7, and Aaron Ramos, 10, play climbs bars on the playground at May Ranch Park, which Perris work crews have spruced up recently by removing graffiti and repairing broken equipment..
Future improvements include installing additional trash cans throughout the park and dispensers for “doggie bags” to encourage pet owners to keep the park clean. Replacement bollards--barriers to prevent vehicles from driving onto the turf field—will be installed to replace broken ones. In addition, Ramos said the community would like to take part in the upcoming City-wide cleanup on March 23 and find a corporate sponsor to donate additional trees and landscaping.
Rodriguez and Assistant City Manager Ron Carr met with residents this week to discuss the recent repairs and future planned improvements.
“This park is very heavily used,” said Ramos, who with her family moved to Perris from Los Angeles six years ago. “There are joggers, youth sports leagues, dog-walkers and after-school basketball is very popular. We appreciate that the City has heard our voices and done everything we’ve asked for.”
Ramos said she took advantage of a special “graffiti tracker” app on the City’s website, www.cityofperris.org to photograph vandalism and notify Perris officials, who quickly removed it. She also thanked Perris police, who responded to a call about graffiti-in-progress, detained the offender and notified the parents, who on their own painted over the vandalism.
Carr thanked Ramos and the Neighborhood Watch team for its vigilance.
“The best way to keep graffiti and other vandalism in check is for the community to become involved,” he said.
Jose Ramos, Jackie Ramos’ husband, spoke at the Feb. 12 City Council meeting, praising Perris officials for their quick response to citizen concerns. He said community residents are eager to work with the City to make May Ranch a showcase.
“We want to help move Perris forward,” he said.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said park maintenance and improvement is an ongoing issue in the City. In addition to May Ranch Park, the City is constructing the new Mercado Park on D Street, upgraded Bob Long Park and worked with Riverside County to bring the Big League Dreams sports complex to town.
“We do everything we can every time we can to improve our parks for our children and citizens so they can have fun and stay safe,” Busch said. “We need community involvement to accomplish the task. It takes a lot of us to accomplish the goals that are multi-beneficial to Perris.”
City Councilman Al Landers said parks are a “great source of community pride.”
“This City spends thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars each year to beautify parks,” Landers said. “Our commitment is to maintain beautiful parks that all our residents can enjoy.”
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers echoed such sentiments, calling parks “the hub of our community,” used by youth sports leagues, moms and dads, couples who jog and seniors just out for a stroll.
“Maintaining adequate parks is not optional—it’s vital,” Rogers said.
Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough said city officials implemented an “adopt-a-park” program at May Ranch years ago after receiving reports about vandalism at the site. The commitment to “refine and expand services is ongoing and never stops,” he said.
“We will maintain the parks that make Perris a great City,” he said.
City Councilman Rodriguez said the May Ranch Park improvements represent what can happen when elected officials, City staff and residents establish good lines of communication and work toward a common goal.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “This is what we are elected to do.”