Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Text Size

The Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA) last week announced the top RV parks in the Rio Grande Valley. The top parks for 2016 are: Llano Grande Park in Mercedes, named the Top Large RV Park in Texas; VIP RV Park in La Feria, Top Medium-sized RV Park; and Oleander Acres, Top Small-sized RV Park.

In a special awards ceremony held at the Riverside Club in Mission Salome Welliver, president of the Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association RGV Chapter, gave out the awards. Welliver explained the selections were based on a lengthy application process where information must be submitted in many categories.

20161103 WEB TRVA-PhotosPrior to the awards presentations, Sergio Munoz, state representative for an area from Palmview to Pharr that has many RV parks, welcomed those who attended.

The first park honored was Llano Grande Park in Mercedes, named the Top Large RV Park in Texas. The manager, Karen Pike, was not present to accept the award.

John and Ruth Dearinger accepted the award for VIP RV Park in La Feria as the Top Medium-sized Park. This couple and VIP RV Park have won this award three of the past four years.

Ed Welliver, owner of Oleander Acres, accepted the awards for Top Small-sized RV Park.

After the awards were presented, the Winter Texan Times asked for more details about the selection process. Ruth Dearinger, of VIP Park, brought out her application notebook to show the categories.

The first area was customer service and reviews. She had enclosed notes from residents saying what they like about the park and thanking the management for things it had done to help them.

The second category was excellence in operations, which includes anything the management does to help its patrons. Dearinger included a map provided to help new residents locate services they might need. She also included information about the park’s First Responder program. There was also a list of city events and park contests that is given to residents when they arrive. The information also included an evaluation of employees who work in the park, “How Did I do?”

Another section looked at community service. VIP collected box tops for education, and bottle caps and pop tops for the Ronald McDonald House. They held food drives for a local food pantry and some of the women got together to make and donate quilts to the local hospitals.

The section on Park Growth included new improvements such as offering line dancing classes and planning special field trips.

The Visual Appeal category dealt with upkeep of the park. Dearinger said they had demolished some old buildings and painted and landscaped other areas.

After Dearinger was finished, Salome Welliver brought over the Oleander Acres application book. One of the areas she highlighted was landscaping. Oleander Acres is the first RV park in the state to have a butterfly garden. They also do a Monarch Rescue project, where they plant milkweed plants as habitat for the endangered Monarch butterflies. While it started out as a strip garden, it has expanded to almost half an acre planted with milkweed for the monarchs and other host plants for other butterfly species that migrate through the area.

According to Welliver, the effort has paid off. Recently a very rare butterfly, an Eruto Heliconin, usually only found south of the Mexican border, was spotted in the Oleander Acres butterfly garden. Park residents have begun harvesting caterpillars and keeping them in a safe place to assure they grow to become mature butterflies.

Under Community Service, Welliver said several Oleander Acres residents volunteered their time for the McAllen Nature Center, helping with planting native habitat in the park.

Some residents in the park raised funds and provided gifts for children in an orphanage in Mexico, while others knitted caps for the children’s department at local hospitals.

Another group does volunteer work at Valley Haven, a home for children who have been removed from their homes.

One of the innovative things the park has done is to add some tent sites. Welliver explained there is a group of campers with Adventure Tours who travel into Mexico on motorcycles who carry tents with them. Oleander Acres has added some tent sites to accommodate them on their travels to and from Mexico. The tents sit on a base of crushed gravel instead of lumpy uneven ground.

Top News

  • San Juan Gardens keeps residents active

    2018401 Shorts San Juan Gardens Ladies LuncheonSan Juan Gardens had many activities to celebrate the Winter Texan season, including a new event called Tape Measure Racing where races are held in double-elimination heats, and everyone is eligible to participate. The park also holds 30-minute low-impact exercise time every weekday for all ages, including a 90-year-old who gets… Read More +

  • Paradise Resort Estates raises money for charities

    20180401 Shorts Paradise Estates1Paradise Resort Estates in Pharr, held its annual Spaghetti Supper and Charity Auction on Friday, Feb. 16th.

    The resort’s Community Outreach Committee sponsored the event and proceeds are donated to local charities. This year’s proceeds totaled $7,000. Some of the items for auction included wood carvings and a… Read More +

  • Split Rail Party

    20180401 Shorts Split Rail Party1At the end of each season, the Split Rail Association at Split Rail RV Park in Mission throws a thank you party for its residents, filled with good food and entertainment. In mid-March, residents enjoyed a delicious catered lunch of grilled chicken, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and all the fixins and dessert.… Read More +

  • Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

    20180401 Shorts Southern Comfort Bocce JPGSouthern Comfort RV Park, located at 1501 S Airport Dr. in Weslaco has been running bocce ball tournaments for the past couple of years. What started as one bocce tournament in the park is now up to three and signs are that the growth is going to continue.

    Read More +

  • Winter Texans volunteer at Lutheran church

    20180322 El Buen Pastor IMG 5095For nearly a decade, Stan Kirschbaum and Bill White of Hidden Valley Ranch, and Ralph Freudenberg of Mission West RV Park have spearheaded projects at El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church.

    The congregation from Westminster Lutheran Fellowship at Pleasant Valley Ranch have collected money and, most recently,… Read More +

  • La Floresta holds tournament championship golf event

    20180315 LaFloresta Golf GAIL CATRON MENS CHAMPIONGail Catron, Men’s Champion

    La Floresta Park and Golf Course held its version of the PGA Championship March 5-8 with 32 men and 24 ladies competing in the annual event. La Floresta is located at 4140 La Floresta Road in Mercedes.

    Read More +

  • The Power of One

    20180308 Palm Resaca Single Ladiesbest2The vitality of any Winter Texan Park is the result of the positive efforts and friendly interactions of its residents. A small core of single women in Palm Resaca Park have made a tremendous effect on helping to make the park run smoothly.

    Single women account for more than 10 percent of park residents. These women have involved themselves in leadership… Read More +

  • Mexican Whistling Ducks enjoy Palm Resaca Park

    20180301 Whistling Ducks mexicanducks2Marching single file, seemingly with purpose. They are not soldiers mustering on the parade grounds or cows heading home at feeding time. They are black-bellied whistling ducks.

    As a Winter Texan from Canada, I find the birds of Southern Texas fascinating. Dozens of Whistlers dwell along the Resaca de la Guerra that flows past our mobile home at Palm Resaca Park in… Read More +

  • Canada Day celebrated at Riverside Club

    20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1889Hundreds of Canadians showed up at the Riverside Club in Mission on Tuesday, March 6 to join in the fun of the annual Canada Day celebration. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the music provided by the Riverside Club Band led by Randy Dupuis and enjoying drinks and food. They were a number of… Read More +

  • Encore brings tribute concerts to RGV resorts

    20180329 Encore Abba Fab 2676The 2017-18 Winter Texan season is fast coming to a close – and Encore is quickly giving Winter Texans some great reasons to look forward to next year.

    The management group that oversees more than 200 RV resorts in 21 states has announced five tribute bands coming… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Login