Veterans and service members will have their admission fees to Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park waived on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, as well as Memorial Day weekend (Saturday-Monday) in May.
The county park, near La Quinta, is open on Veterans Day from 6 a.m. to sunset. The address is 58-075 Jefferson St.
The free entry was part of a proposal Supervisor V. Manuel Perez brought forth to rename Lake Cahuilla Regional Park to Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park. The proposal was approved by the Board of Supervisors in August, according to a news release from his office.
“Our veterans go to battle and ensure we live a life of freedom here in the U.S. Without veterans, we wouldn’t have the freedoms we enjoy today,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez in the release. “Naming this beautiful park for them, and welcoming them to enjoy this spectacular recreational resource on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, is a measure of our gratitude for their service.”
Free admission is open to active duty military personnel and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard and federal and state reservists. To qualify, veterans need to present valid proof of military service.
The park is operated by the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District via a lease with the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. All parties approved the name change. Lake Cahuilla is the terminal reservoir for the Coachella Canal, a vital tool for importing Colorado River water for irrigation and groundwater replenishment in the east valley.
“CVWD is pleased to join Supervisor Perez in thanking and honoring our veterans,” said CVWD Board President John Powell. “We have great appreciation for their service and we hope that they take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy beautiful Lake Cahuilla.”
Further improvements to the park will include new signage to signify the name change, and the display of flags of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard near the park entrance.
Riverside County is home to 130,000 veterans. Veterans who live in Riverside County also have their service honored with free entry to the annual Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, and the Edward-Dean Museum & Gardens. Veterans have free boat launches at Lake Skinner and Mayflower Park on Memorial Day and Veterans Day for veteran-owned watercraft, and free parking when visiting county offices in county-owned lots and parking structures. The Board of Supervisors has also granted disabled veterans free day-use admission to Riverside County parks on an unlimited basis.
“Thanks to our local legislators such as Supervisor Perez, the Coachella Valley has become a very veteran friendly place to live and play,” said Bill Young, a U.S. Air Force veteran and founder of the Coachella Valley’s annual Veterans Expo. “Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park is just one example of the many beautiful facilities available to veterans and their families. It is a special place to spend some time over the Veterans Day weekend, especially with the entrance fees waived for veterans and military on Veterans Day.”
Perez represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county.