Menifee Celebrates Opening of Audie Murphy Sports Park

City of Menifee, Riverside County and Brookfield Residential officials unveil the signage at the...

City of Menifee, Riverside County and Brookfield Residential officials unveil the signage at the new Audie Murphy Ranch Sports Park.
Little Leaguers played ball, youngsters enjoyed the playground and the skate park was packed while young and old alike celebrated the grand opening of the Audie Murphy Ranch Sports Park in Menifee Saturday.

Hundreds of residents got to try out the park for the first time, enjoying all 12 acres of the facility, which includes baseball and soccer fields, a basketball court, skate park, playground and picnic areas. Built by developer Brookfield Residential as part of the Audie Murphy Ranch planned community, the park is open to the public and figures to be a popular recreational site for years to come.

"This is exactly where Menifee is going to go," City Manager Rob Johnson told a large crowd gathered under a canopy in the center of the park. "It's lush, it's green, and it's something new that shows lots of growth and potential."

Among the dignitaries attending the ceremony was Jeff Stone, the Riverside County Supervisor who oversaw this area when planning first began on the Audie Murphy Ranch development several years ago. Stone, and later current district Supervisor Marion Ashley, worked with Brookfield Residential and city officials to make the sports park a reality.

"What a fitting time to dedicate this park in honor of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War II," Stone said, recognizing the significance of the Memorial Day weekend and the man after whom the planned community is named.

In the center of where Murphy's ranch once stood, activites took place everywhere one looked. On the baseball field, members of Menifee Valley Little League's Challenger program played the first game (below left). Beyond the outfield fence, soccer players demonstrated their skills while youngsters enjoyed face painting and a balloon artist. There were also bounce houses and a rock climbing wall.

One of the biggest attractions was the skate park -- a state-of-the-art facility including two skate bowls, numerous ramps and rails a