Monument Ranch Park in South Perris is undergoing major renovations to eliminate flooding while providing for greener lawns, improved playground areas and more-efficient, lower cost lighting.
Work crews have spent recent weeks re-grading the turf around the Monument Ranch Park playground area, installing new lawn and improving the flow of drainage.
The improvements will allow the City to provide increased watering of the heavily-used lawn during the dry summer and fall months while reducing the likelihood of flooding, said Capital Improvements Manager Michael Morales.
Cost of the upgrades is $97,500.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said the City is committed to improving parks from one end of town to the other and is pleased to add Monument Ranch to its list of recreation-related accomplishments. In recent years, May Ranch, Rotary and Bob Long Parks have undergone major been upgrades and the City has developed and added Mercado Park.
“We are doing this to make our parks more useful and more beautiful,” Busch said. “Improving our parks helps us save money and makes the City a better place to live, work and play.”
Besides drain improvements and greener lawns, additional improvements at Monument Ranch include demolishing the existing wood-chip play surface and replacing it with a “soft-fall” surface with bright new patterns and colors.
The new surface should last five years instead of the one or two-year lifespan of woodchips, which will reduce replacement and maintenance costs. Further improvements include the replacement of low efficient sodium lights with high efficient LED lights, which is expected to reduce energy costs by 25 percent. The replacement lights also are expected to last four to five times longer.
Funding for the light replacement was aided by a sizable energy rebate from Southern California Edison, obtained through the City’s partnership with the Western Riverside Council of Governments.
Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez, a member of the Council’s parks and recreation committee, said “quality recreation venues and programs are a priority of mine and I am glad we are able to provide residents of Monument Ranch with the park they asked for and want.”
“The new improvements are cost-effective, environmentally friendly and enhance the look and appeal of the park,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez urged residents to keep the park as pretty as possible by reporting suspicious activities to prevent vandalism.
Perris City Councilman Al Landers, who also serves on the parks and recreation committee, said he takes a personal stake in making the City’s parks as good as they can be. Landers said that in his nearly 20 years as an elected official, he has walked City parks looking for broken sprinklers, graffiti and damaged playground equipment. He said Perris officials are determined to provide recreation areas that are clean, safe and state-of-the-art. It’s a commitment of time and resources that takes “follow-up every single day,” he said.
“We want to make sure Perris residents are getting their money’s worth for their parks—and they are,” Landers said. “The City of Perris prides itself on being an aggressive and progressive community. Our commitment to parks and recreation facilities provides another example of that kind of leadership.”