Wildomar's Regency Heritage Park has been closed since July 2011, but under an agreement reached between the Lake Elsinore Unified School District and the City of Wildomar the shuttered park will intermittently open for students who attend William Collier Elementary.
“It’s a big deal,” said Wildomar Mayor Pro Tem Marsha Swanson. “The kids will be able to cut through the park to get to and from the school instead of walking along busy streets.”
Regency Heritage is located behind the William Collier campus located on Mayhall Drive, and Swanson and Wildomar City Councilwoman Bridgette Moore contend that for students who walk to school the park is a shortcut that provides much safer access.
“It’s safer for the students, their parents, and other children in the family,” Moore said.
According to city documents, historically students used the park to enter the William Collier campus. the school principal contacted the city to inquire about limited access for students.
A parks' access agreement was drafted by the city, and the LEUSD governing board signed off on it Feb. 14 in a unanimous vote, said Mark Dennis, a spokesman for the school district. Wildomar City Council signed off on the agreement Feb. 21 with a 4-0 vote; councilman Bob Cashman was absent.
Under the agreement, the LEUSD will be given keys to the park and gates will be unlocked only during limited hours before school starts in the morning and again when it lets out in the afternoon. Gates will be locked at all other times, and school staff will be present while gates are unlocked, the agreement states.
The term of the agreement is only six months. Currently, the city is working to reopen Regency Heritage and Windsong parks on a permanent basis. I The latter has remained open due to volunteer efforts.
A special parks’ subcommittee of Swanson and Moore was appointed by city council after Measure Z’s passage, and earlier this month city council approved the appointment of a five-member Parks Oversight Advisory Committee comprised of community volunteers. The five members include Scott Bradstreet, Dawn DeVolder, Francis “Monty” Goddard, John Lloyd and Kristen West. The committee was required to be formed under Measure Z. The committee will be tasked with advising city council on the expenditure of tax revenues collected under Measure Z.