Saturday, September 23, 2017
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

  • Thousands enjoy Progreso Tourist Appreciation Day

    20170321 TOURIST DAY Progreso Moering IMG 6637Smiles, laughter and some final souvenir gathering were apparent throughout the Winter Tourist Appreciation Day March 21 in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.

    With sunny, balmy weather, organizers were thinking the 41st annual event might have drawn as many as 50,000 Winter Texans from across the border, which was also marked… Read More +

  • Rio Grande Valley has first class entertainment

    Winter Texans love to be entertained and there are enough entertainment venues that one could go to a different event every day of the month.

    Today, many of the entertainers come from Branson and Nashville. This movement started many years ago but has gained momentum in recent years when Branson entertainers like Gordy and Debbie learned about the Rio Grande… Read More +

  • Martin & Monroe entertain the Valley

    For two years in a row the Martin & Monroe show won the National Rising Star Award for the best Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin Tribute Band. The show sold out everywhere including the Sinatra Showroom at Lake Tahoe’s Cal-Nevada Resort.

    Bob Caudie and his wife, Sherri-Lynn, who in her own right is a premier Marilyn tribute artist, have recently moved to… Read More +

  • McAllen Symphonic Band plans classical concert

    The McAllen Symphonic Band will present its last concert of the season on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cooper Center Auditorium at South Texas College, 3200 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen.

    It will be a presentation of classical music. The first piece will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 K 361, the so-called “Gran Partita.” This piece… Read More +

  • Why the Rio Grande Valley?

    welcome partyClimate, friendly people, social activities appeal to Winter Texans

    In local Hispanic lore there is a saying to the effect that, “Once you drink the water of the Rio Grande, you can leave, but you will always come back again!” This seems to be true for… Read More +

  • Edinburg World Birding Center announces April programs

    Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (EWBC) is offering a variety of programs for families and adults this April. The month kicks off with several fun and educational activities introducing the Purple Martin. There are also educational presentations on how to identify animals from their droppings. 

    Read More +
  • UVAL plans UTRGV juried art exhibition

    The Upper Valley Art League is hosting the 11th Annual UTRGV School of Art Juried Exhibition. It will open with a reception on Saturday, April 8 from 7-9 p.m. at the Kika de la Garza Fine Arts Center, 921 E. 12th St. in Mission. The exhibition will feature the work of students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.   

    Read More +
  • Winter Texans wanted to help with Edinburg Bird-a-thon

    It’s time for the 5th Annual Edinburg Bird-a-Thon and the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center wants Winter Texans to help count migrating birds. This event runs from April 1 to May 1 and everybody can participate.

    This family-friendly competition is a great way to start and learn about the migrating species that are making… Read More +

  • March 23, 2017 - Valley Calendar

    March 24-26 – Camille Playhouse presents “9 to 5” a musical. Tickets are $20. Showtimes are: Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m., Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Call 956-542-8900 for information. Order tickets online at

    March 25 – Read More +

  • Texas Onion Fest returns to Weslaco Saturday

    20170323 OnionBlossom2a 2The 28th Annual Texas Onion Fest is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The festival will be held at Mayor Pablo G. Pena City Park located at 300 N. Airport, Weslaco.  Texas Onion Fest celebrates the development of the world famous Sweet Texas Onion in Weslaco at the Texas A&M University Extension Service. … 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