Led by Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren, more than 57,000 acres of open space—approximately 60% of the historic 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch—has been set aside forever as open space and parklands. The land is now one of the largest urban open spaces in the United States, larger than many national parks. More than three million people live less than 30 minutes from the pristine beauty of the wilderness that stretches 22 miles from the mountains to the sea.
In recognition of the wide variety of rare and endangered plants and animals and the unique habitats and geological features contained on the land, nearly 40,000 acres of the preserved lands were designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2006, following rigorous scientific review. Two years later, the same lands were named the first-ever California Natural Landmark. The Irvine Ranch Conservancy has guided the steady evolution of this open space into a world-class environmental and recreational treasure.