Times are a’ changin’ in Rancho Mirage! Our city’s centerpiece park is not only about to grow—adding two acres to the existing seven—but it will most likely have a new name when it has its formal groundbreaking this fall. Dedicated in 1983 and named after the dry Whitewater riverbed that runs along the northern edge, its moniker has always mixed people up and given them the impression that the park is located a half-hour north in Whitewater. Instead, it’s located near The River shopping and entertainment complex, almost immediately behind the big pink elephant that looms above Rancho Super Car Wash.
I’m voting with many of the Rancho Mirage City Council members who seem to think that renaming it simply “Rancho Mirage Park” will ensure people know where to find it. But just to guarantee that all options are explored, new park names are being solicited so that residents can weigh in. As it’s the setting for the annual Rancho Mirage Art Affaire, as well as for a host of other notable events, the park is beautifully maintained and wonderfully used by both locals and visitors.
I’ve played tennis for years on the beautiful, lit—and free!—courts. And I’ve spent many a day picnicking away with friends, watching as children run rampant playing on the stylized faux fire truck jungle gym, and adults play basketball or handball, or walk the serene paths. The expansion will include a dog park and an amphitheater, both of which are additions that will be more than welcome.
Groundbreaking is set for November 16, 2013, which is probably when the new name will be revealed. I’ll be there cheering on my hometown park and anxiously awaiting the word on what to call it in the future.