Farewell Whitewater Park, Hello Rancho Mirage Community Park

One of the jewels in my adopted city of Rancho Mirage’s crown has always been the beautiful public park located along the Whitewater Wash at 71-560 San Jacinto Drive, just off Highway 111 and a bit behind the landmark Elephant Carwash.  Dubbed at its dedication as “Whitewater Park,” sadly its name baffled a generation of locals and visitors alike.  They mixed it up with the “Whitewater Preserve” (also commonly referred to as “Whitewater Park”), the bucolic area managed by the Wildlife Conservancy north of Interstate 10 and famous for its trout ponds and hiking trails—a beautiful outing for fellow Rancho Miragers, by the way.  www.wildlandsconservancy.org

So, after many years of discussion, the Rancho Mirage City Council proposed that residents vote whether a name change was in order.  Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed that the time had come, and with a number of options presented, “Rancho Mirage Community Park” was chosen.  (I, for one, heartily endorsed both the name change and the chosen name!)

But a new moniker is but the beginning!  Soon, the city will break ground on an expansion of our peaceful park to add three more acres to the existing seven.  The $4.2 million dollar project will boast a beautiful performance amphitheater, an expanded playground, a fitness station, two pickleball courts (LOL, I had to Google it, too!), new lighting, and a greatly improved layout that includes a grand “promenade” sidewalk that will pull the new design together.  Of course, the tennis courts, picnic areas, restroom facilities, and off-street parking will all remain.   Expect the entire enhancement to be completed in the first month or two of 2015.  I can’t wait!  www.ranchomirageca.gov/residents/parks-trails

Rancho Mirage Community Park