The City of Cathedral City, alongside community members and commissioners from the Public Arts Commission and Parks & Community Events Commission, unveiled a street sign topper to name a Cathedral City neighborhood “Ocotillo Square” to give residents a sense of place and community pride.
The morning unveiling on January 18, 2023, was held at the northwest corner of Ocotillo Park, 33300 Moreno Road — with Cathedral City Mayor Rita Lamb and Councilwoman Nancy Ross taking part along with the sign-topper’s artist, Barbara Swain. The boundaries are to the South, Dinah Shore: to the North, Ramon Road; to the East, Date Palm Drive; and to the West is Cathedral Canyon.
The neighborhood is known today by several names, The Mile or The Square Mile or the South City but no formal name has ever been attributed to the neighborhood. By adopting a formal name (Ocotillo Square – the name selected by community members) and installing sign toppers, this will give the majority Latino neighborhood a sense of place, helping to foster a real feeling of community.
“This kind of camaraderie can’t be bought, but it can be elevated,” said Councilmember Nancy Ross. “Give someone a sense of place, belonging, partnership and amazing things can happen.”
In April 2022, Councilmember Ross and volunteers walked the neighborhood, speaking to residents and placing the attached flyers at each house inviting them to two different neighborhood meetings at Ocotillo Park. Based on the comments received at those meetings, Ocotillo Square was the favorite name of the residents there.
In October, Councilmember Ross hired students from the Cathedral City High School Choir to walk the neighborhood in teams, each with a chaperone, knocking on doors and asking if having these sign toppers in the neighborhood is something they would support or if they would prefer not to have any. 191 households out of the 197 visited supported the sign toppers.