Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Community Cleans Up May Ranch Park

Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez presents a Certificate of Recognition to Jackie and Jose Ramos, who helped organize the May Ranch Park cleanup and resource fair
Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez presents a Certificate of Recognition to Jackie and Jose Ramos, who helped organize the May Ranch Park cleanup and resource fair.

More than 100 people descended upon May Ranch Park in Perris on April 6 to remove trash from the popular playground, meet their neighbors and take part in a day-long community resource fair featuring health tips, employment opportunities and City-sponsored events.

May Ranch residents said the day of fun and fraternity represents the best of what can happen when a neighborhood works in common to resolve a problem.

Several weeks ago, May Ranch residents decided to tackle head-on the problems of, graffiti, broken equipment and litter in and around their community park—including a 55-inch flat screen television in the road leading to nearby Sierra Vista Elementary School.

Perris Public Works employees repaired broken irrigation equipment while local police identified graffiti taggers and put an end to their vandalism.

May Ranch youngsters Noah Yazloff, 10, and Michel Flores, 8, hang on the monkey bars during the May Ranch Park cleanup and community resource fair
May Ranch youngsters Noah Yazloff, 10, and Michel Flores, 8, hang on the monkey bars during the May Ranch Park cleanup and community resource fair.

Neighborhood residents organized the recent clean-up, leaving the park looking green and tidy and threw in the resource fair as a way to address quality-of-life issues for children and parents. The City of Perris, the Perris Police Department, Loma Linda University and Riverside County were among the agencies providing employment opportunities, program information and health tips.

“What a great day,” said Jackie Ramos, who helped organize the event. “We finally decided that enough is enough and we wanted to do something to benefit our community. What began as a small event has blown up!”

Pattie Yazloff brought her family to the clean-up day. Afterwards, they took part in the community lunch featuring grilled hot dogs, chips, cookies and water.

 

Angel Ochoa and Lenny Gamboa spar during the May Ranch Park cleanup and community resource fair. The two are members of the P-Town Combat Sports Academy in Perris
Angel Ochoa and Lenny Gamboa spar during the May Ranch Park cleanup and community resource fair. The two are members of the P-Town Combat Sports Academy in Perris.

“We just want a clean environment for our children,” Yazloff said. “There was a lot of garbage in their park that our kids had to walk past. We want to teach our children the right morals and get them to take pride in their park and their community.”
Members of the May Ranch Neighborhood Watch group also turned out in force.

The group organized in the wake of some of the earlier vandalism and has pledged to work to clean up the community. Odell Romero, a member of the Neighborhood Watch, signed up for the Perris Citizens Patrol, a volunteer group that assists police at accident scenes and major events.

“I love Perris—the weather, the atmosphere, the people—and I want it to be the best possible place it can be,” said Romero, who moved to the City from Los Angeles. “I live here, my family lives here and I want everyone to be safe and comfortable.”
Several members from the staff at Sierra Vista school took part in the clean-up and fair, including principal Corby Warren.

He said such events knit a community together.

“People in this community are very independent and they often don’t know their neighbors very well,” Warren said. “Events like this build unity.”

Perris Police Chief John Hill spoke of the need for residents to report suspicious activities while City Councilman Julio Rodriguez thanked everyone for their participation and presented awards on behalf of the Mayor and City Council.

Hill thanked the City of Perris for “not reducing police resources whatsoever” despite the lingering recession. He urged the crowd to never hesitate to call police.

“We’re a community resource,” he said. “Crime suppression and prevention starts in the neighborhood. Never hesitate to call us. We’re here for a reason—to keep you safe.”

Rodriguez, who also received an award from event organizers, said he was pleased at the community’s response to vandalism and trash and was proud to live in such a motivated City.

“The purpose of parks is to gather people together so they can get to know another,” Rodriguez said. “As an elected official, I am incredibly excited to live in a family-friendly city that supports these type of events.”