Audie Murphy Ranch Sports Park Opening Set for May 24

Updated story clarifies the City of Menifee's contract with Riverside County for parks maintenance.

The City of Menifee this week formalized an answer to the question many have been asking -- especially young people hoping to attack the skate bowl at the new Audie Murphy Ranch Sports Park.

The official grand opening celebration for the 11-acre park on Newport Road west of Murrieta Road will take place Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Until then, all parts of the park remain closed and security officers are stationed to keep residents from jumping the gun.

The park includes a skate park, baseball field, soccer field, basketball courts and a playground. It will be open to all area residents, even though it is located within the Audie Murphy Ranch housing development.

But before Brookfield Homes officially turns over maintenance of the park to the City of Menifee and the gates are opened, Audie Murphy Ranch residents have the opportunity to hear the park usage rules and provide feedback during a homeowners' association meeting April 28. City staff will provide general information about the maintenance of the park and recreation programming services provided through the city's newly formed Community Services Department.

The city's contract with Riverside County for maintenance of all parks west of the 215 Freeway runs out June 30. Robert Lennox, community services director for the City of Menifee, said Friday that the county has informed city officials that the contract will not be extended. The City is making preparations to assume control of west-side parks as of July 1.

An April 30 workshop has been scheduled by the City to discuss the benefits of City of Menifee control vs. control by Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District, which currently maintains parks on the east side of the freeway. That meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Either way, the city will go ahead with the May 24 opening of the sports park.

"We are thrilled to celebrate the highly anticipated grand opening of the long-awaited Audie Murphy Ranch Sports Park," city manager Rob Johnson said in a news release. "Our Community Services Department is establishing park programming options now, and we're reaching out to the community for input."


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