Perris elected representatives, City administrators, kids and parents were on hand Nov. 29 to dedicate a new tot-lot at Foss Field Park.
City Councilman Malcolm Corona, City Manager Richard Belmudez and Assistant City Managers Darren Madkin and Clara Miramontes led the contingent at the ribbon-cutting, even as children romped on the playground equipment oblivious to the ceremony going on around them. The new equipment includes slides, gazebos and exercises designed to improve strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. New upgrades also include soft-surface floors to help prevent injuries.
Corona said he remembers playing in Foss Park as a kid. As the dad of a 2-year-old son, he knows that quality parks make for an improved quality of life for all Perris residents.
“We’re all excited to see nice, new playground equipment at our parks,” said Corona, who serves on the City’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “We are committed to creating excellent parks that meet the expectations of our residents. I try to take my son to all the different parks around the City. He really enjoys visiting them. It’s always a good experience for kids.”
Belmudez said that while it’s nice for staff to dedicate the new equipment, what made the ceremony more special was the squeals and smiles of kids using the park.
“The joy of this day is seeing these kids play,” he said. “That makes all the difference.”
Public Works Director Daryl Hartwill said the City has upgraded several playgrounds in recent year, including Copper Creek and Metz parks. The new tot lots at Foss Field Park, he said, “won’t be the last one.”
Encouraging healthy children
Perris Mayor Michael Vargas said the park upgrades augment the City’s award-winning Live Well Perris healthy-eating active-living campaign. As the grandfather of six grandchildren, Vargas said he knows the importance of exercise plays in developing healthy youngsters.
“Live Well Perris is not only for adults,” he said. “It’s about kids too. We will continue to improve our parks as time and funding permit. I am excited and proud to support a healthy living environment.”
Mayor Pro-Tem David Starr Rabb suggested the improvements at Foss Field and said he is pleased with the outcome.
“It’s a great design,” he said. “Special kudos to the parks committee for the nice design. The new equipment fosters pride in our community.”
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke said elected representatives are “dedicating to improving our parks so they can be utilized more and more by members of our community.”
"Exercise plays an important part in improving physical and mental health,” Burke said. “It is gratifying to be able to upgrade our parks.”
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers, the other member of the Parks and Recreation Committee, said the Foss Field Park tot-lot is part of the City Hall Campus and is therefore a showcase for the community.
“It is wonderful to be able to upgrade our parks,” Rogers said. “As members of the City Council, it is very important that our parks, trails and facilities are top-notch. They are very heavily used and we really want them to shine.”
Perris resident Michelle Harrison and her children make frequent use of Foss Field Park and the tot lot. Harrison loves the new improvements.
“I love that the City put in a soft floor for the kids to play on,” she said. “We love what the City has done to improve this playground. My kids want to play here all the time.”