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Volunteer Opportunities Available At Wildomar Parks

“Call us at City Hall and we’ll find a way for people to get involved in our parks,” said City Manager Frank Oviedo.

As Widomar’s fiscal year-end comes to a close June 30, funding to keep the city’s three parks open will dry up.

While the parks’ closure appears imminent come July 1, some resourceful and passionate Wildomar residents are doing what it takes to keep them open.

During Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, options for keeping Marna O’Brien, Windsong and Heritage parks open included letting concerned residents maintain and contribute to the cost of their parks.

Funding is the biggest hurdle for the parks.

On June 7, , which would have imposed an annual $28 special tax on Wildomar property owners to pay for the parks. As a result of the defeat, the parks are unfunded starting July 1.

Assistant City Manager Gary Nordquist said it costs approximately $20,000 per month to maintain the parks, although the city has looked at ways to significantly decrease that number, including reduced irrigation – or no irrigation.

During Wednesday's meeting, some residents said they would pay the $28 assessment to the city, despite Measure D's defeat.

City Councilwoman Bridgette Moore said cash donations in any amount are welcome. Residents can write checks to the city, and note the word “Parks” in the memo.

During the recent election, 2,332 Wildomar voters cast a ballot in favor of Measure D. If all those residents donated $8.58 per month, the money raised would total the current estimated monthly cost to keep the parks open.

In addition to community donations, city staff agreed Wednesday to look into grants, as well as the possibility of pulling a small portion of funding from a community development block grant program starting in fiscal year 2012-13.

Parks' usage fees charged to sports leagues and other organizations are also up for discussion.

“We are not putting anything off the table,” Moore said, and she praised residents who have stepped up to help.

City Manager Frank Oviedo said the city is open to the idea of resident participation in the parks. He conceded there is a liability factor when it comes to volunteer labor, but said the city is very willing to work with people.

Trash and debris cleanup, emptying trash cans, graffiti removal and vandalism repairs are all needed at the parks, Oviedo said.

“and we’ll find a way for people to get involved in our parks,” he said.

For more information on donating or volunteering on behalf of Wildomar parks, call City Hall at 951-677-7751.

David Pereira June 24, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Ken you really are a curmudgeon. I know you think you're being the voice of reason but you're really only inflaming the rest of the people. Some people are extremely sad about this and you're not helping. If you're so intelligent and driven, why don't you use your knowledge and help the other side of this fight. Those of us that want the parks to stay open could really benefit from you taking charge and making this happen. Think about it, if you were the person who was responsible for setting up the foundation to save the parks, you could run for City Council next election and easily win. You could be a Councilor instead of a curmudgeon.
Stacy B. June 24, 2011 at 04:45 PM
As a former Girl and Boy Scout leader I think this would be an excellent opportunity for Scout involvement. We have many Troops in Wildomar now as well as plenty of High School students whom need community service. This seems like the perfect opportunity.
Ken Mayes June 24, 2011 at 05:36 PM
David Not a curmudgeon, just realistic. This country has turned into a bunch of whiner's that want everyone to pay for their wants and if they don't get everyone to pay for their wants they throw a tantrum and start name calling. If people want it bad enough then they need to get off their a** and do it.
John Lloyd June 24, 2011 at 06:01 PM
I think it would be wonderful for an attorney and a CPA to pull together and create a Foundation for Parks in Wildomar. Generally in order to create a Foundation you have to have a large contributor to provide seed money that assures the Foundation can continue for at least 5 years of audits and also provide funding for compiling the annual tax forms and other filings necessary to maintain Foundation status. Another option as Hillary mentions is the creation of the 501c non-profit, such as "Friends of the Parks" or something along those lines with a specific mission statement aligned to accept private funding for use in maintaining Wildomar Parks. The City Council will need to provide guidance to the community on that kind of consideration. Initially the community may want to ask the Rotary or the WCC if they would be willing to have a financially isolated sub-committee under their 501c authority until a new 501c can be created. There are lots of options for accepting funding for Parks.
Ken Mayes June 24, 2011 at 06:50 PM
A foundation is a 501c corporation. All you need is an idea and someone willing to do the paperwork. It takes very little money to start. The only reason I mention lawyer and cpa is so that the paperwork gets filed in the proper order so as to obtain the maximum tax benefit, unless of course you want to do your own research. As for tax returns they are no more complicated than doing your own taxes if a cpa sets up your books. And when I say little money I mean less than $500 in California, unless you have to pay for that lawyer or cpa. Also you can be up and running in about a month from the time you file your paperwork.

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