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About Chino Hills

A Personal Perspective:

When I brought my wife and two sons from Chicago to live in Southern California in 1986, one of my goals was to find a place where I could raise my kids and give them roots. The same kind of roots I still value today from my childhood. I loved growing up in a town where I knew people and people knew me and where I could still go back after 40 years and say hi to old friends. I found that place in Chino Hills.


The government in Chino Hills operated out of a modern facility on Peyton Avenue, south of Grand Avenue, near the Shoppes at Chino Hills. The city employs around 200 people, most of whom work in administration, planning, finance, recreation, and public works. Chino Hills contracts with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department for Police Services and the Chino Valley Independent Fire District for emergency services. The Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) also serves the city. The city’s official website is


The city is often referred to as “The Best Kept Secret in the Inland Empire,” and for a good reason. Honestly, I always thought that was my own saying until I saw it referred to that way in a newspaper article. Although it has grown tremendously, it is surrounded by nature. On the western and southern borders is the Chino Hills State Park, consisting of 13,000 acres, 31 miles long, and full of hills, valleys, and wildlife. My sons and I experienced sighting our first wild Tarantula during one of our frequent hikes in those hills when we moved here. There are deer, coyotes, owls, raccoons, skunks, opossums, rabbits, reptiles, and even a few bobcats and mountain lions in the hills.

The hills provide a natural border from the hectic and fast-paced lifestyle of Orange and Los Angeles Counties. On the eastern edge of Chino Hills lies a massive Army Corps of Engineer flood plain and Lake Prado that run along the route of the Santa Ana River. This floodplain looks like a giant forest and runs alongside the 71 Freeway.

At night, a drive from the 91 northbound into Chino Hills still gives the impression of being in the middle of nowhere. There is nature on both sides for miles around: all hills and rocks to the west and a forest as far as you can see to the east.

The flood plain also serves as a natural nitrate cleanser and filters water flowing from the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains into Orange County. The area contains a large hunting dog training facility and an archery and shooting range left over from the 1984 Olympics. On weekend mornings, you can hear sportspeople shooting far off in the distance from where we live. There is also the Prado Regional Park which offers fishing, horseback riding, RV and camping hookups, and sports facilities. The park is always busy with locals and visitors from out of town on weekends.


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