The city of Montebello has been awarded an $8,000 grant to help pay for renovations to a veterans memorial at Montebello City Park.
The Home Depot Foundation grant will be used to makeover the memorial which in recent years has been the target of graffiti vandals, and in 2011 the theft of copper plaques commemorating the U.S. Constitution bicentennial.
Vivian Romero and John Paul Garcia, both members of the city’s Culture and Recreation Commission, spearheaded the effort to restore the memorial and remove the signs of “disrespect” that continue to happen despite the city’s efforts to beautify the area.
Romero notes that the park and memorial have been neglected for a very long time.
“The veterans memorial has become a defunct skateboard park,” and “getting ruined by skateboarders that are using it as a platform to do tricks,” Romero said.
“Its about being tired of the way things looked,” he said, explaining why they have worked so hard to bring about the memorial’s renovation.
Home Depot’s community service foundation helps fund veteran-related projects like the one at City Park. On Aug. 22, Team Depot will be at the park to make the renovations, which, among other things, will include installing 2000 square feet of pavers, resurfacing and planting new vegetation in eight flowerbeds and installing tile on the memorial wall.
Romero told EGP she hopes the city will do a better job of policing the area, and if necessary, adopt stricter penalties for offenders.
The city is also looking into skateboard deterrents and using anti-graffiti coating as a way to discourage vandals, Romero said.
During a park beautification day in May, residents helped clean and prepare the area for the city’s Memorial Day observance. They planted dozens of 20-foot trees and plants donated by a local wholesale tree distribution company. The city, after years of tight budgets, paid for new plaques to be installed in time for the public ceremony.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help renovate the site in August, should contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (323) 887-4540.