Riverside’s proximity to the Santa Ana River is the reason for its namesake. The impressive gateway to the city, originally built in 1923, is the Mission Bridge which extends over the river and up into the city through the Buena Vista Bridge. The significance of the Santa Ana River Watershed, which extends from the Pacific Coast to the San Bernardino Mountains, is sometimes lost to the residents of Riverside. Our city is blessed with a 10 mile stretch of land encompassing 250 acres of city-owned property along the Santa Ana River’s natural habitat.
Long before the city of Riverside was established, the watershed sustained regional indigenous tribes as well as diverse flora and fauna along its banks. Over the years, the beauty of the river has been lost and neglected as dams and channels changed its shape. It also became exploited for industrial and undesirable uses such as landfills. The city has lost touch with the river and is now actively looking to bring the river back into Riverside.
The Riverside Gateway Project Suite is a proposal to “recover, re-conceive, and re-engage” with the Santa Ana River. According to the City’s site analysis for the project, this presents “a phenomenal opportunity to resuscitate older interactional patterns between the city and river, while adapting those resources to modern life.” The project, which is funded in part by the State Coastal Conservancy, will focus on 8 locations which include current parks such as Martha Mclean Anza Narrows, Loring Park, Camp Evans at Fairmount Park, and Carlson Dog Park. These areas will incorporate existing structures such as the historic Saint Francis Falls at Carlson Park and augment them with new features such as research stations, sensitive area walkways, water play areas, and even reserved camping sites.
If you are interested in finding out more about what is being planned for the Riverside Gateway Parks system along the Santa Ana Riverbottom, Tune in tomorrow evening to participate in this virtual workshop. They will be presenting plans that are in the works and will be asking for community input. Here are the details.
PRCSD and the Riverside Gateway Parks Team have been working hard since our last virtual workshop in October, and we are excited to share Project updates with you and hear your feedback! The Riverside Gateway Parks project will develop Park Master Plans for sites along the Santa Ana River Trail in Riverside. Once complete, these sites will contribute to the Santa Ana River Parkway and Open Space system, a regional vision for a trail and greenway along the Santa Ana River.
We invite you to connect on the second virtual workshop on Wednesday, February 2 from 6 – 7 p.m.
If you would like to attend, please use the information below:
Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84627232103
Meeting ID: 846 2723 2103
The upcoming workshop will focus on two of the park sites, Martha McLean-Anza Narrows Park and the trailhead property at Van Buren Blvd. and Jurupa Ave. In addition to this workshop, we invite you to visit our website RiversideGatewayParks.com to learn more, fill out our survey, and provide comments on our interactive map.
Please note the deadline for providing feedback for Martha McLean-Anza Narrows Park and the Jurupa Avenue Trailhead is Saturday, February 5 at 8 p.m.
Help put the “river” back in Riverside!
The Riverside Gateway Project Suite is part of a comprehensive effort by cities and counties along the Santa Ana River Watershed, orchestrated by the California State Coastal Conservancy. It is exciting to know that Riverside is an integral part of this revitalization, creating a string of parks along the river. This will be a “citywide park that provides places to find the peace and harmony of nature within or on the edges of the City’s urban fabric.”
The city of Riverside has had International Connections since we established our first sister city relationship with Sendai, Japan over 60 years ago. Riverside has been a leader in Sister City programs ever since. Sister Cities are not unique to Riverside, cities throughout the world have been partnering together since President Eisenhower created the Sister Cities International organization in 1956 which he envisioned being a “hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.”
Riverside was one of the first cities to participate with our relationship with Sendai which started in 1957and is the second longest sister city relationship in the United States. Since then, we have established relationships with 8 additional cities which are Cuautla, Mexico (1968), Ensenada, Mexico (1976), Jiangmen, People’s Republic of China (1997), Gangnam, Republic of Korea (1998), Hyderabad, India (2000), Obuasi, Ghana (2008), Erlangen, Germany (2011), and Can Tho, Vietnam (2015).
Through our sister city relationships, the City of Riverside has shared ideas, experiences, and exchanges. Everything from Art Exchange programs with Ensenada, Student exchanges with Erlangen, and marathon runner exchanges with Sendai have been offered through the sister city program. In fact, one of our popular downtown festivals, The Long Night of Arts and Innovation was inspired by a similar festival in Erlangen.
One of our favorite sister city projects is the Yuishin Tei Japanese garden in White Park. This traditional Japanese garden was designed and installed by Japanese master gardeners from Sendai with help of local volunteers from Riverside.
The garden is a wonderful reminder of the strong ties our city has with other countries around the world. The International Relations Council of Riverside, which oversees our sister city relationships, is a great way to get involved and be a part of Riverside’s international connections. For more details, check out ircriverside.org where you can join the IRC as an individual member, or become a corporate sponsor of the programs.
For the second year, the Ransom-McKenzie Team has supported Habitat for Humanity Riverside’s Over the Edge fundraiser. Last year, all three team members went Over the Edge and we raised $5,000. This year, we shot for the same goal with just Connie going over the edge.
We once again raised $5,000 to support Habitat’s great efforts in the Inland Empire to provide affordable housing to at-risk families here. This event is a fun opportunity to raise awareness for a dire need in our community while having a good time experiencing the thrill of rappelling off of one of Downtown Riverside’s tallest buildings, Regency Tower on Orange Street. This year’s thrill was even more exciting because Connie, at 82 years old, was the oldest participant to go Over the Edge in Riverside. She made it look incredibly easy too!
Selling real estate in Riverside, The Ransom-McKenzie Team knows what it takes to be able to afford a home. Connie, together with her team members Charlotte and Bob McKenzie, (who are also her daughter and son-in-law), welcome the opportunity to help people find affordable, safe housing in the community. Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement clearly states that they “believe that everyone should have a safe, decent and affordable place to call home”. This is why we feel it is so important to not only raise money for Habitat for Humanity but to also raise awareness of the need for affordable housing in our region.
Through the fundraising efforts of the Over the Edge event, Habitat for Humanity Riverside raises funds to help bring their mission to fruition. Prospective homeowners put in sweat equity, and go through extensive life skills training in order to qualify for the Habitat for Humanity’s housing programs. This investment of time and effort gives the new homeowners a feeling of accomplishment as well as pride as they turn the key to open the door of their new home for the first time.
The Ransom-McKenzie Team is proud to be able to be part of this community-building organization. Working together with community partners like Habitat for Humanity helps to make Riverside a great place to live.
Have you seen the twinkling lights on the new marquee at the corner of the Fox Theater’s parking lot? The words “Food Lab” gives a hint about what is happening inside the space at Market and 6th Streets in Downtown Riverside. The marquee’s message states that the Riverside Food Lab (RFL) is preparing to open in the Spring of 2018.
RFL is one of many unique developments from Arteco Partners, a Pomona based, innovative “re-developer” specializing in the “adaptive-reuse of historic structures and in-fill development in mixed-use downtown neighborhoods.” While this building is a newer structure, it is in the heart of the historic downtown.
The Riverside Food Lab concept is a communal food hall with 14 artisanal eateries and bars. Arteco’s President and co-founder Jerry Tessier is excited to bring this idea to Riverside.
“Downtown Riverside, given all the current and planned developments – from the Fox Performing Arts Center to the coming Imperial Hardware Lofts project — is the right venue for this type of niche development. And with the 14 different eateries and bars inside the Riverside Food Lab, you can go with a group of people or you can even just go on a date, and you don’t have to decide what you’re eating before you get there.” – Jerry Tessier
Start your morning with coffee from Augies and end the day with craft beers at Beer Farm. In between there’s ramen, raw juice, creole, BBQ, acai bowls, waffle treats, “Chicano style” Mexican, Lebanese, and wood fired pizzas. These are just the first 11 vendors to join the RFL family.
Besides local food vendors, the RFL plans on local artists creating murals for the walls, and will bring live music and special events to the adjacent patios adding flavor and color to the festivals and events already taking place in our City of Arts and Innovation.
Excitement is growing – stay tuned as more vendors join RFL by ‘liking’ them on Facebook, or visit their website at riversidefoodlab.com.
We love letting our friends and clients know about things going on in and around Riverside. Subscribe to our blog, and visit our webpage at RansomMcKenzieTeam.com to keep in touch!
The remarkable story of two trees, a pioneer town, and the University of California, Riverside
Riverside’s relationship with the citrus industry runs deep. When the navel orange tree was introduced to our region in 1873, Riverside entered a new era. At one point at the turn of the century, Riverside was the wealthiest city per capita in the United States. Orange Roots, an expansive exhibit now running on the ground floor level of the Rivera Library on the UCR campus, tells the story of how the citrus boom changed our region forever.
This exhibit leads you through the history of the citrus industry in Riverside and how it relates to UC Regents decision to bring a UC campus to Riverside. In 1918 city leaders convinced the UC Regents to build a new Citrus Experimentation Station on the location that is now one of the original campus buildings. It currently houses the Anderson Graduate School of Management.
The pictures and artifacts in this exhibit are beautifully displayed in a custom exhibition set up created to mimic the look of the orange crates of yore. The exhibit includes pictures, orange labels, artifacts and news clippings that document the entire history of the citrus industry and the creation of UCR.
The exhibit is running through January 17th, if you have time during the holidays to go on campus, while the students are on break, it would be well worth the effort.
The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is hosting a creative and exciting fundraiser next Saturday, August 8th at the museum. Art on Tap: Late Night Arts Bash for Arts Education is an evening of beer tasting and art sampling where you’ll be able to view and/or participate in demonstrations from numerous artists and enjoy fun brews, food, and music. More importantly though, this event helps to raise funds for RAM’s extensive mission to “engage, inspire, and build community through the arts”.
As we face more and more cuts to arts programs in our schools, supplemental programs have an even greater importance in getting art into the lives of our youth. The RAM Art Education program reaches over 10,000 youths through school and museum based programs. These include programs such as First Sundays, Art-To-Go, Museum Tours, and Art Education Classes & Workshops. The programs do not happen for free, art supplies are not falling from the sky. The museum needs funds for the programs to continue and to grow. It is important because exposure to art is important. To quote the museum’s website,
“Exposure to art can have profound influence on a young person’s life. Beyond what art teaches, like respect for diverse viewpoints, courage to experiment, and problem-solving skills, some of the greatest rewards come from the intrinsic value of art and the personal joy one experiences through the creative process.”
Join the Ransom-McKenzie Team, (the Artists Disguised as Realtors), as we support arts education and enjoy some late night art fun too! The event is on Saturday, August 8th from 9pm – 1am… (We know it’s late, but it will be fun!) All three floors of RAM will be filled with interactive and collaborative art stations, music, food, and beer from breweries like Hangar 24 and Wicks Brewing Co.
Paint with Greg Adamson, doodle or color with Rina Gonzales, try art journaling or printmaking with Laura Ryan, get creative with some fun Weathered Feather projects with Jill Rowden, relax with some creative doodling/coloring for adults with Rina Gonzales, get a henna tattoo by Jenny Montenegro, learn about nuno felting with Charlotte Ransom McKenzie, and more! Yes, you read that correctly, Charlotte will be one of the artists demonstrating the art at this event. We hope you’ll come see what we’re up to and support arts education at RAM. Tickets are only $20, and that includes a free brew! Click here to get your tickets today! Then come visit Charlotte as she felts the night away.
As we look at more sustainable ways of living, the idea of solar energy becomes more enticing every day. But, solar technology is changing rapidly. How do we know what is the best option for us in our homes, or for our businesses?
One way to learn more is to attend UCR’s second conference on solar energy. Opportunities for Solar: Ways Forward for Inland Southern California on September 30, 2015.
This conference is a collaborative effort put together by the Center for Environmental Research & Technology: CE-CERT EVENTS, Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology, the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development, and the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy.
This conference is designed to inform attendees of the importance of solar energy and to discuss the latest technology, public policy & regulations, economic impacts, and opportunities for incorporating solar energy into our daily lives in the Inland Southern California region. The Directors of CE-CERT state in a letter on the conference website that,
We believe solar energy can play a significant role in the region’s future, not only because of the abundance of sunlight afforded to the region and its potential as another source of efficient and cost effective energy, but as an integral contributor to Inland Southern California’s employment base.
The Inland Empire, and specifically the City of Riverside, is home to a number of solar industry leaders and innovators who will be participating in this conference. Registration for the conference starts soon. Early bird registrants will pay $50 to attend the all day conference. For more information regarding registration, speakers & sponsors, or to participate in the conference, visit the CE-CERT webpage.
Riverside Repertory Theater continues its reputation of producing new and innovative approaches to musical theater with the hilarious tale of pirates, policemen, a major-general and his daughters. Gilbert and Sullivan’s hopeful farce, Pirates of Penzance, plays weekends until June 14th at the Box Theater in the Fox Entertainment Plaza, in downtown Riverside.
Every show that we have been to see this season with Riverside REP has been an incredibly fabulous production. They truly are meeting their goal of bringing “daring, innovative and high quality professional musicals that entertain, educate and enrich” to Riverside. This final production of the 2014-15 season will not disappoint.
When Connie was at Reed College, (years ago!) the theater group there would perform a Gilbert & Sullivan musical every year. She always loved participating in these fun, comedic productions. We can’t wait to see what original twist Riverside Repertory Theater will put on this production. Charlotte & Connie are going tonight- we can’t wait to see this show! If you’re not familiar with Gilbert & Sullivan musicals, here is a synopsis of the plot with some information from the Riverside Repertory’s press release:
Pirates of Penzance follows young Frederic, an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates. He disavows the pirates’ way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel. When the Pirate King discovers Mabel’s father, General Stanley, has lied about being an orphan to keep the pirates from carrying off his bevy of beautiful daughters, an “ingenious paradox” may prevent the budding romance and lead to the death of “The very model of a modern Major-General.” In a fresh new staging by Riverside Rep, director John Blondell highlights the wonderful music of Sir Arthur Sullivan, the quixotic book and lyrics of W. S. Gilbert, and the intoxicating performance abilities of a multi-talented cast. “Audiences were thrilled with the Rep’s 2014 innovative approach to Fiddler on the Roof and this production will add a similar ground-breaking slant on the classic musical, ” says Rep Artistic Director Matt Neves.
The talented ensemble cast is led by Rep veterans Nicholas Sloan, as Frederic, who was last seen as Riff in the acclaimed production of West Side Story, and Michaelia Wade, as Mabel, who performed in the Rep’s La Cage Aux Folles and Fiddler on the Roof. Matt Dallal (Action in WSS) will portray the Pirate King and Travis Rhett Wilson plays the police sergeant, following up his award winning performance in the Rep’s Assassins. New to the Rep, Inland Empire locals, Jamie Snyder and Sarah Horn, will bring to life Major-General Stanley and Ruth, respectively.
Pirates of Penzance performs until June 14th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.
Student rush tickets are available for $20 at the door.
The Ransom-McKenzie Team is proud to be a sponsor of Riverside Art Museum’s “52 Project”. If you know us, you know that we are “Artists in Disguise as Realtors”. While the Realtor thing does take a lot of our time, we always enjoy making time for the arts.
As sponsors, we will be actively participating in the “52 Project” which is the brainchild of our good friend, Sue Mitchell. Sue’s journey as an artist through her extraordinary “52” Exhibit which took place at RAM October – December 2013, has inspired us to participate in the “52 Project”. The goal is to bring artists and artist “wanna’ bes” from across the city and beyond together in a “52 week, self directed journaling adventure”. The beauty of this project is that anyone with creative aspirations in any the creative arts can join in the fun. This means YOU! Don’t be scared to try it out, everyone will be working together to support one another and help to get the creative juices flowing. We believe that art is an important part of our existence, don’t let it go by the wayside.
“The 52 Project”, a part of RAM’s Riverside Art Make, is about getting a group of creative people together to find inspiration and motivation from one another while working on a 52-week, self-directed art journaling project. The goal is to help you develop the habit of capturing your ideas and being more artful on a regular basis.
The first meeting of the minds is Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 so you have plenty of time to sign up. We’re encouraging our friends to join us and have fun! As sponsors The Ransom-McKenzie Team is privileged to have the opportunity to invite some of our friends to join us as our guests. Let us know if you might be interested in this opportunity and joining us in the journaling adventures. Send us an e-mail and let us know you’re in!
How Does “The 52 Project” Work?
A 52-week, self-directed art journaling adventure. The journal you keep can be any style, size, and be kept daily, weekly, or monthly. What we ask is that you make this journal an “EVERYTHING BOOK” capturing all of your creative ideas as if it were a scrapbook, sketchbook, daily planner, diary, and journal.
For those of you that feel a creative idea developing along the way, e.g., a short story, dance piece, one-act play, art exhibit, etc., we will help you learn (at the October meeting) how to write an exhibit/project proposal to submit to the museum. The museum will jury the proposals and select a variety of projects for 4-day exhibitions/performances to be held during the Summer of 2016. (You do not need to decide if you want to participate in Option 2 until the October meeting. It has no additional cost.)
Enrollment in the “52 Project” is open to museum members and non members alike. There will be four general “meetings” or workshops where participants will gather to review ideas, offer support, present proposals, and generally discuss how your journaling adventure is going. The dates for these meetings are:
- Sunday, May 3, 2015, 1:00 p.m.: KICK-OFF MEETING | Q&A | View “52” Documentary | Journaling demos.
- Sunday, October 4, 2015, 1:00 p.m.: MID-YEAR MEETING | Journaling and proposal writing workshops.
- Sunday, March 5, 2016: NO MEETING | PROPOSALS DUE by 4:00 p.m. if you opted for Option 2.
- Sunday, May 1, 2016, 1:00 p.m.: FINAL MEETING | Share art journals | Announce projects selected.
For more information on this project and other RAM Riverside Art Make events taking place, visit the RAM website. You can sign up for the “52 Project” online.