Residents gather at Nosotros Park in November 2020 to hear a presentation about the nearby New River. Nosotros Park is one of 26 parks and green spaces the city has available to adopt. | KENNY ROBERTSON PHOTO
CALEXICO — With more than 180 acres of green and open spaces spread across Calexico, the city Public Works Department and its smallish parks staff could use a big assist from the community.
From the large 15-acre Adrian C. Cordova Memorial Park on Clinton Avenue and East Zapata Street to the postage stamp half-acre Miguel Cortez Park at Second Street and Andrade Avenue, the city has 26 parks and green spaces it needs help to maintain and beautify.
“Adopt-a-Green-Area is a program designed to promote community pride and involvement in maintaining and enhancing our green areas, parks and facilities,” said Calexico Public Works manager Liliana Falomir, whose department oversees the crews that maintain 22 official parks in the city and several other green areas.
Together, between 60 acres of parks and 122 acres of open space, there are numerous opportunities for individuals, families, businesses and corporations, and service organizations to adopt a park.
Participants are asked to do one or more activities like litter removal, planting or establishing seedlings, trees, shrubs, or flowers, graffiti removal, painting, watering, and weed control.
Nine parks/green spaces have been adopted so far, with three adoptions pending, Falomir said.
“We need more people (to) adopt a park; 17 more,” Calexico City Council member Gloria Romo said during a presentation she requested be made at the Wednesday, April 7, council meeting.
Romo, along with eight other individuals or organizations, had their commitments approved during a March 10 meeting of the Calexico Parks, Recreation, Beautification, and Senior Services Commission, which vets and approves the applications.
Romo has adopted the 1.18-acre Border Friendship Park (also known as Genaro “Teco” Monroy Park) on First Street and Paulin Avenue, where many of the city’s homeless congregate and a daily feeding program occurs from the Brown Bag Coalition.
Other adopted parks include Cordova Park and the Meadows Estates south retention basin in the 1100 block of Andrade by the Calexico Parents Athletic League; the Carmen Zuniga Estrada basin at Fifth Street and Andrade and the Meadows Estates north basin in the 1200 block of Andrade by Carmen Zuniga Estrada; Victoria Estates Park at 1200 Rancho Frontera by Ana Rosa Renison; Victoria Park east basin in the 1200 block of Zapata Street by Guadalupe Salcedo; Rodriguez Park on McKinley Street by Jesse R. Garcia; and Rodriguez Field on Sheridan Street by ZT Baseball Imperial Valley.
The three pending adoptions were due to be approved at the next parks commission meeting on Wednesday, April 14, Falomir said.
The city does require that groups or individuals that do adopt parks carry their own insurance when events involving more than five people are planned. The annual dues for such insurance cost about $300, Calexico Mayor Pro Tem Javier Moreno said at the April 7 meeting. Falomir said the city is discussing ways the city can pick up the tab on the insurance in the future.
As for the public’s commitment, the adoption is for a two-year period, adoptees are required to perform at least one event or service at their park at least once a month, Public Works must be notified seven days in advance of an event, and “at all times exercise safe working practices.”
On the city’s end, Public Works will lend the necessary equipment and safety gear needed to do an event, provide trash bags and dispose of the trash, assist in “planting plans and techniques,” and the placement or replacement of signs recognizing the group or individual that adopted the green space.
An application is available on the city’s website (Calexico.ca.gov) or here.