April 2017
Wildflowers in Orange County

In this Issue:


City Manager's Message
Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic
Military Support
Dog Park Closing Temporarily for Renovations
Crime Prevention - Vandalism Update
Electronic Waste and Document Shredding
Animal Services - Reporting Lost and Found Pets
Chamber of Commerce Events
RSM Cares - The Belltower Foundation
Senior Activities at the Belltower Regional Community Center
April Recreation Highlights
Landscape Tour offered by SMWD
5K Run/Walk
Trauma Intervention Program seeks Volunteers 
SMWD Water Festival - Save the Date

Relay for Life RSM - Save the Date 

City Manager's Message


The Rancho Santa Margarita lifestyle -  where everyday living is enriched by our beautiful surroundings and community amenities – is what City staff and I are passionate about preserving and enhancing. We’ve recently completed renovations to our Civic Center and Community Center; such a unique city center,  where folks of all generations gather for activities and events that celebrate the pride of our Cityhood.  We’re excited about the upcoming improvements to our Dog Park, and hope you’ll pardon the temporary closure while we bring the City Council’s vision to fruition. Our goal is to provide a community where you can live, work, and play in Rancho Santa Margarita. 


Jennifer M. Cervantez

Bell Tower Regional Community Center
Puppy and kitten with Hello Spring graphic

Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic

Wednesday, April 5th
Bell Tower Regional Community Center
22232 El Paseo

6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Cats only)
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (Dogs & Cats)

INFO: (714) 993-9193
Healthcare & Emergency Animal Rescue Team (HEART) provides vaccinations, de-worming, microchipping, flea and tick control and if time allows, mail trims. Please visit their website for detailed information. Cash or credit card ($3 processing fee) only; checks are not accepted.

If you have a cat or have pre-paid for your vaccines, you do not need to wait in line and can go immediately to the cashier table. All others will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis (with the exception of those who are physically unable to stand in line).
Important Rabies Information
Please bring a prior Rabies Certificate and other vaccination records with you. A 3-year Rabies Certificate can only be issued if you provide a prior Rabies Certificate. Otherwise, you will receive a 1-year Rabies Certificate.
Vaccines for dogs include:
Rabies - $7.00
DAP/DHPP - $20.00
Bordetella - $15.00
Lyme - $22.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet
Vaccines for cats include:
Rabies - (killed virus) Purevax - $20.00 (1 yr) $48.00 (3 yr)
FVRCP "3-in-1" - $20.00
FELV - $21.00
Purevax - $22.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet

"HEART" (aka "SCVVC") is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to saving lives and improving pet and wild animal health, safety, and welfare.
Prices are subject to change; clinic will cancel in the event of rain.

Support our troops graphic

Military Support  - Donations sought for Marine homecoming


The 2nd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment was adopted on January 10, 2007. Since then, City staff have worked closely with a Family Readiness Officer year-round to coordinate volunteer assistance for the City's Patriot Day Commemoration, the Battalion Holiday Party, barracks projects, and homecomings. In anticipation of returning Marines from recent deployment, we're working with the Rancho Santa Margarita 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines Support Group, Inc. (Team 2/5) to support service members and their families. Donations are sought through the month of April to welcome the Marines and home.

For more information contact Community Services Supervisor Wendi Redington at (949) 216-9700.

Dog at Dog Park

Dog Park Improvement Update


The Rancho Santa Margarita Dog Park  at Canada Vista Park will be closed to the public starting on Monday April 10, 2017, for renovation. The improvements will include all new natural grass with irrigation, relocated and additional drinking fountains, new dog agility equipment, shade structures, and new fencing with snake deterrent mesh. The renovations are expected to be completed by June 5, 2017. Contact Public Works for more information at (949) 635-1800.

Dog Park closure sign
Tire being slashed

Crime Prevention - Vandalism Update

Posted by RSM Chief of Police on The Sheriff's Department is keenly aware of the many, many acts of vandalism (tire slashing) within the city. The puncturing of innocent victim's tires by this subject has caused several thousand dollars worth of damage and even more disturbing is the feeling of helplessness and vulnerability to the victims and residents of RSM. Catching and prosecuting this suspect is currently our #1 priority. I have all available assets and specialty details working on this issue. It would be counterproductive to post on social media exactly what course of action we are taking but we ARE working on this with all available resources.  

OCSD investigators are seeking any possible witnesses to the crimes, surveillance video or reports from additional incidents. If you have been a victim of intentional vandalism to your vehicle tires, between October 2016 to March 2017, please Investigator Hernandez at (949) 206-6194 or the department commander at (714) 647-7000. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-855-TIP-OCCS (1-855-847-6227).

Always call 911 in the event of an emergency. For more information on crime prevention, call Rancho Santa Margarita Police Services non-emergency number at (949) 770-6011. Join for crime updates from Lt. Luke South, Chief of Police Services.

Recycling logo

Public Works - Electronic Waste and Document Shredding Event slated for April 29th


The City of Rancho Santa Margarita is offering a free electronic waste disposal service and document shredding event on Saturday, April 29th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the RSM City Hall parking lot. Safely and responsibly dispose of obsolete electronic waste and prevent identity theft during this "spring cleaning" opportunity. Hard drives are destroyed to Department of Defense (DOD) standards.

E-waste event photo
Lost pet graphic

Animal Care Services - Report found or lost pets in RSM immediately to Mission Viejo Animal Services

One of the primary factors that the City Council considered when contracting with Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is their proven success in reuniting lost and stray animals with their owners.  However, the center has noticed a recent trend where “Good Samaritans” are finding and holding on to animals rather than turning them over to the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center.  To their credit, these Good Samaritans often post photos and information on social media, but pet owners may never visit those sites or even think of locating their lost pet this way. All stray or lost animals should be reported to: 

Mission Viejo Animal Services Center
28095 Hillcrest
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
(949) 470-3045

While keeping the lost animal and relying on social media sites may seem like the best bet for a found pet, the truth is doing so makes the chances of reuniting the animal with its family much less likely.  When a frantic pet owner is looking for his or her lost family pet, the first thing that person usually does is call or visit the shelter.
To avoid private parties from holding on to a beloved pet, local ordinance requires that “no person shall, without consent of the owner, hold or retain possession of any animal for more than 24 hours without first reporting the possession of such animal to the director, giving his name and address and true description of the animal, and then surrendering such animal to the shelter upon demand.”  Animals are also considered personal property by the state of California - and it can be considered theft if a Good Samaritan holds on to a lost pet and does not do whatever is necessary to find and return the pet to its owner.
When a stray animal arrives at the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center, the animal is immediately checked for a dog license, scanned for a microchip, and its general overall health is assessed in case the animal is injured.   The facility is a no-kill/pro-humane animal shelter, which means if animals are not reunited with their owners, they become available for adoption.  Animals are only euthanized if they have a history of aggression and are a threat to public safety or irredeemably suffering from a medical condition that is not treatable.  Staff and volunteers ensure each animal that enters the shelter receives everything it needs to remain healthy and happy during its short stay.

Please help lost pets in the best way possible by placing them in the care of the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center.   For more information, call (949) 470-3045.

Chamber of Commerce logo

Chamber of Commerce News

The RSM Chamber is committed to supporting business growth by providing trusted resources, networking opportunities and local connections. The RSM Chamber takes great pride in being a strength and support for the business community by organizing monthly mixers, educational forums and community events to promote commerce throughout Rancho Santa Margarita and the surrounding area.

April Events


4th  - Evening Mixer at Spa Gregorie's -  5:30 p.m.
10th  - Ribbon Cutting at Dickey’s Barbeque -  5:30 p.m.
11th  - Business Forum at the Bell Tower -  9:00 a.m.
18th  - Lunch Mixer at The Trough/Blind Pig  - 11:30 a.m.
18th -  New Member Guest Reception at the Chamber office -  5:45 p.m.
27th  - Chamber Social at TBD - 4:30 p.m.

For more information about Chamber of Commerce membership and events, please contact Suzanne Singh at or (949) 242-3660.

RanchoFest Ad
RSM Cares logo

RSM Cares 

RSM Cares seeks to enrich the quality of life for residents of Rancho Santa Margarita by inspiring local philanthropy, engaging stakeholders in community service and embracing the local nonprofit network through collaborative partnerships. Visit their website for more information on events and volunteer opportunities.

RSM Cares ad
Age Well logo

Senior Activities at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center

The mission of Age Well Senior Services is to promote and improve the quality of life and independence of the senior community.


April Activities at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center

  • Easter Luncheon - Thursday, April 13th -  Entertainment by Dave Dixon
  • Art Club
  • Bingo

  • Blood Pressure Check (Free on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.- noon)
  • Bocce Ball 
  • Golden Age Yoga
  • Congregate Lunch - Weekdays - 11:45 a.m. (excluding holidays) Menu
  • Meals on Wheels - Menu
  • Movie Days - April 5th & April 21st
  • Music Exercise Class
  • Smartphone Tutorial
  • Tai Chi
  • Total Body Fitness
Visit our Senior Activities webpage for more information, or contact Lindy Kehler at (949)216-9700, ext. 257.

Seniors enjoying Congregate Lunch program
Summer camp registration graphic
Paint, Paste and More participant

April Recreation Highlights


Spring class registration is now open! Check out our  Summer Camp Preview online and in the Spring edition of the Community Living Magazine.

Tunes & Tales
$45/ 4 Classes
Let’s get the wiggles out! Tunes & Tales is a Music and Movement class for children ages 2 to 4 years. Sing-a-longs and finger play songs start off this fun-filled class followed by musical activities using bean bags, rhythm sticks, instruments, a parachute and more. Children have a great time while developing their listening and social skills. Parent/adult participation required. Ages: 2-4 yrs. 
Instructor:  Vivian Stapleton
110913 01       Th        Apr 6 - Apr 27      9:45-10:30 am
Spanish Immersion Time for Children
$58/ 4 Classes
This class is designed to provide a Spanish immersion experience for young children and incorporates dance, music, art, games and story time to provide a fun, educational experience in Spanish for children. Ages: 5-12 yrs.
Instructor:  Ursula Rubina
120770 02       T          Apr 4 - Apr 25     4:30-5:30 pm
Ageless Ballet
$63/ 6 Classes
Ageless Ballet is a dance program developed with the mature adult in mind. We believe that we never outgrow our love for movement and joy that brings the mind, body, and soul. Our approach reduces the impact on the joints & helps participants increase strength, flexibility, and mobility in a judgment-free class. Ages: 50 yrs. & up.
Instructor:  West Coast Movement
140244 03       M         Apr 17-May 22            8:45-9:45 am
Meditation for Beginners
$47/ 4 Classes
Discover how meditation can lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, reduce anxiety, reduce stress, and increase focus. This is a great class for those who have always wanted to try meditation but never knew how to begin. We will be focusing on instruction and meditation practice, focusing on a new method each week. Dress comfortably and bring towel or yoga mat. Ages: 18 yrs. & up.
Instructor:  Kelli Hackett
140825 02       M         Apr 6 - Apr 27        6:30-7:30 pm
Hula with Hana Hou Polynesia
$75/ 4 Classes
Have you ever watched Polynesian dancers perform at a Luau and wished you could dance just like them?  Well, now you have an affordable opportunity to learn at the Bell Tower Community Center!  Participants will learn the basic technique and authentic dance routines of the graceful Hawaiian Hula as well as the vigorous hip shaking action of the Tahitian Otea & Aparima!  You will build strength, flexibility, and balance while exploring the various postures.  Everyone is welcome no matter what your current dance experience level is. Ages: 18 yrs. & up.
Instructor:  Hiyas Bennett
140228 02       W         Apr 5 - Apr 26             9-10 am
140228 03       W         May 3 - May 24          9-10 am

Click here to access our online class registration system.

SMWD logo

Santa Margarita Water District  Landscape Tour


Saturday, April 8th

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Looking for landscape inspiration? Join the Santa Margarita Water District on Saturday, April 8 for the first annual Landscapes Tour!  The self-guided tour will give you the opportunity to visit beautiful landscapes in our local community. The landscapes have been designed with sustainability in mind.  Learn how a swale can capture rain water from your roof and provide water for your landscape year round.   Take an up-close look at the California native and low water use plants that you can use to create a pollinator habitat in your landscape.  Additionally, you will have the opportunity to talk with homeowners themselves about their projects and learn about the design assistance many of these homeowners received from SMWD’s landscape programs.

 RSVP at to receive the tour list.

Lanscapes Tour ad
Hanaeleh 5K logo

Hanaeleh 5K Run/Walk for Horses


Saturday, May 6th
Central Park, Rancho Santa Margarita

All proceeds benefit Hanaeleh, a non-profit horse rescue in Trabuco Canyon. Deadline for discounted early-bird registration is April 15th. Click here to register.

Hanaeleh is a 100% volunteer-run organization that rescues and rehabilitates abused and neglected horses in Trabuco Canyon. Founded in 2004, Hanaeleh adopts out rehabilitated, healthy horses and is a sanctuary for horses who need more care.

Follow Hanaeleh on Facebook or visit their website for more information.

TIP logo

Trauma Intervention Program of  Orange County seeks Volunteers


Becoming a TIP volunteer is a way of making a hands-on difference in someone’s life when they need it the most. TIP volunteers are often called upon to assist people who have experienced devastating and traumatizing circumstances. Volunteers complete a two-week intensive  55-hour training conducted by certified TIP national trainers in Emotional First Aid and Practical Care Support. Volunteers then embark on a three-month Field Training Program where each trainee is paired up with a veteran volunteer. Trainees then graduate and become certified TIP Volunteers  - equipped and ready to respond to 911 Emergency Calls with confidence and compassion.

For more information on the TIP program, visit their website or call (714) 314-0744.

Save the Date

Save the Date

Relay for Life logo

Relay for Life RSM

Saturday, October 14, 2017


The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life - Rancho Santa Margarita, has been rescheduled to Saturday, October 14, 2017, in Central Park from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. This beloved community event provides an opportunity to honor those who have been affected by cancer and to raise funds to find a cure!

Whether you want to start a team, volunteer your time, make a donation, or sponsor a booth, Relay for Life has a way for people of all ages to participate. Visit the RSM Relay for Life website for more information.


Contact Community Manager Danielle Ruiz at or (949) 567-0610 for more ways to get involved and make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Rancho Santa Margarita

City Council


Carol Gamble, Mayor

Michael Vaughn, Mayor Pro Tempore
L. Anthony Beall, Council Member
Jerry Holloway, Council Member

Brad McGirr, Council Member

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