Attention gardening fans, please join Master Gardener Vicki Peyton for a demonstration on how to save tomato seeds. The event will take place at the Ovitt Family Community Library on Wednesday, January 24th at 6:00 PM.  Hope to see you there. For more information please call at 395-2205.


Veteran’s Memorial Park Bike and Pedestrian Rodeo a Success!

A big thank you to the Inland Empire Biking Alliance, the Ontario COPS unit, our Teen Action Committee and our Recreation and Community Services Department for hosting a very successful bicycle and pedestrian safety education event.  The event took place at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Saturday, September 9th from 9-12. Youth and their parents from the community participated in a pedestrian safety workshop and a bicycle safety obstacle course where they learned hand signals and how to safely ride their bikes.  Participants  also received free bike safety checks and helmet fittings and got to take the helmets home with them. The Police Department also registered bicycles and took the participants on a group ride to practice their newly learned safety skills.

Healthy Ontario will be hosting a second event at De Anza Park on September 23rd from 5-8 PM. We hope you can join us for this fun and informative event.



City of Ontario to host National Night Out

On August 1st, the City of Ontario will be participating in America’s Night Out Against Crime, an annual public safety event that invites residents to gather with first responders and other public service providers to promote crime prevention, public safety and neighborhood unity. For the past decade, the City of Ontario has consistently received national recognition for participation in National Night Out. This year’s event promises to be another award winning celebration with block parties throughout the City representing the City’s diverse communities.

Bon View Park and the Dorothy A. Quesada Community Center will host Party in the Park! From 5 PM to 8 PM.  Come by and check out our Healthy Ontario booth for free giveaways and information about our program.

Those interested in hosting a neighborhood block party are asked to register their event with the Ontario Police Department Crime Prevention Unit. Neighborhood event hosts will be eligible to receive National Night Out promotional materials and have special guests attend their block parties. In addition, there are opportunities to support this year’s event through corporate sponsorships and donations.

For additional information, please contact the Ontario Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 909-395-2939.




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The American Planning Association (APA) honored Huerta del Valle Community Garden with the 2017 National Planning Achievement Award for a Grassroots Initiative.

In a cooperative effort between the community and several local agencies, the Huerta del Valle Community Garden in Ontario, California, was developed to provide residents with access to fresh organic produce. The small, predominantly Hispanic neighborhood had limited access to healthy food sources and few residents participated in local government until the community garden project was introduced.

Local residents were involved in the entire planning process-from selecting designs, presenting the project to the city’s planning department, and clearing and plotting the land to maintaining the garden. The garden opened in April 2013 and features 68 family plots and 2.5 acres of agricultural land that produces 6,000 pounds of food annually.

In 2015, Huerta del Valle Community Garden became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, proving that empowered residents can make a long-term impact within their community. The garden is a model that many other communities can readily adapt.

APA’s national awards program is a proud tradition established more than 50 years ago to recognize outstanding community plans, planning programs, and initiatives, public education efforts, and individuals on their leadership on planning issues. These efforts help create communities of lasting value throughout the country– and around the world.

Each year, APA recognizes outstanding efforts in planning and planning leadership through its National Planning Excellence and Achievement Awards. The two-tier awards are selected through a juried process. Excellence recipients are the highest honor, and Achievement Awards recognize areas of specialization within the planning profession.

Five recipients were selected to receive APA’s National Planning Excellence Awards and 12 recipients were selected to receive Achievement Awards. Award recipients were recognized during APA’s National Planning Conference at a special awards luncheon on Monday, May 8, 2017 in New York City.

Read more about the 2017 award recipients and access images and supplemental materials.



ZumUp to Better Health!

Want to take charge of your fitness without breaking the bank on a new gym membership? Join us at your local community center and take advantage of our FREE ZumUp sessions. Each session lasts about an hour and are open to both adults and children. Our ZumUp instructors are specially-trained to accommodate everyone’s skill level, including individuals with mobility restrictions. So if you are looking to get your heart pumping to the beat of salsa music, then ZumUP will be the best option for you.

Check the schedule at your local community center for dates and times.


Summer is here, but remember to protect yourself against sun exposure

Summer is here, but remember to protect yourself against sun exposure.

Summer has arrived—which means that families are planning vacations, hosting barbeque parties, and spending quality time in the outdoors.

Before you head out on your next adventure, we would like to remind you about the dangers of sun exposure. While you might not realize it, being out in the sun without proper protection can cause sunburns and contribute to other skin-related illnesses—melanoma being the most serious type. Follow these safety tips to protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays this summer:

  • Seek Shade: Don’t stay out in direct sunlight for too long. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. That’s the time to stay in the shade.
  • Put on a Hat: A hat with a wide brim all around is a good choice. So is a shade cap—a billed cap with fabric down the sides and back. Baseball caps and straw hats offer less protection.
  • Wear Sunglasses: Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays. Wraparound styles work best. Choose ones that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear Protective Clothes: Cover as much of your skin as possible. Dark colors and tightly woven fabrics offer the most protection.
  • Use Lip Balm: Protect your lips by wearing lip balm that contains sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Some experts recommend an SPF of 30.
  • Use Sunscreen: Choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply generously to all exposed skin before you go outside. Reapply at least every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Take Extra Care near Water, Snow and Sand: All of these surfaces reflect and intensify the sun’s damaging rays, increasing your chances of sunburn.
  • Stay Hydrated: Remember to drinks lots of water to keep your body hydrated and prevent heat stroke.

Image Huerta del Valle honored as Grassroots Initiative

It’s time to celebrate with fresh fruits and veggies! The American Planning Association-Inland Empire Section (APA-IES) awarded Huerta del Valle Community Garden (HdV) as this year’s recipient of the Grassroots Initiative Award. As a grassroots initiative, HdV was established to address a need to improve access to fresh and organic foods. Maria Alonso, a long-time Ontario resident and Garden Manager at HdV, worked with several neighbors and the City to redevelop a vacant parcel by Bon View Park into a beautiful and productive community garden. APA-IES recognizes the resident’s primary role in utilizing the planning process, as they selected their preferred design, presented their plan to the Planning Department, cleared and plotted the land, and routinely maintain the garden. Because of their exemplary work, more than 62 families now enjoy growing food from their own plots, while HdV also mass-produces over 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables that are sold on-site and at local farmers markets. Maria Alonso and her technical advisor Arthur Levine, alongside several Planning staff were present to accept the award at the 2016 APA-IES Annual Awards Gala on May 19th.

If you have not yet visited our award-winning community garden, now is the time to plan a trip and tour the garden. For more information about Huerta del Valle, contact Arthur Levine at (917) 734-8108 or Maria Alonso (for Spanish) at (909) 509-2996. You can also visit their webpage at


On March 19, 2016, Kaiser Permanente awarded the City of Ontario and the Healthy Ontario Initiative an additional $1 million to expand and strengthen their existing HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) interventions in the Ontario HEAL Zone for another three years, Phase 2. Kaiser Permanente’s HEAL Zone Initiative is designed to increase opportunities for healthy behavior

The Healthy Ontario Collaborative strives to improve access and bring resources and information to the community to support individual and community health. The Healthy Ontario Collaborative is coordinated by the City’s Planning Department and includes private organizations, non-profit partners, school districts, and the community. For more than four years, the Healthy Ontario Collaborative has implemented community-based strategies in the HEAL Zone neighborhood, schools, parks, community centers, faith institutions and health clinics to improve policies and practices related to healthy eating and physical activity. Over the next three years, the Healthy Ontario Collaborative will continue to partner with the community to increase healthy lifestyle opportunities, relationships and referrals between clinics and community resources, and also enhance existing facilities at two HEAL Zone parks.

The vision of the HEAL Zone Initiative is to measurably transform the community at the end of a three year period. The goal is to increase opportunities for engaging in healthy behaviors as part of an everyday lifestyle, such as walking and biking on safe routes, purchasing and consuming fresh fruits and vegetables close to home, exercising in parks, and participating in after-school activities.

Mayor Paul S. Leon said “Thank you to Kaiser Permanente for funding our Healthy Ontario HEAL Zone Initiative. The secret to our success is that we have expanded and built upon the rich community assets in our HEAL Zone and have sustained committed partnerships that make Ontario a model for healthy communities.

“We are excited to receive the Phase 2 HEAL Zone grant from Kaiser Permanente. This is a wonderful program that continues to build awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and increase usage of the City’s many healthy lifestyle assets,” said Mayor pro Tem Debra Dorst‑Porada

For more information regarding the HEAL Zone Initiative or Healthy Ontario, please visit or contact Karen Thompson, Associate Planner at (909) 395-2459.