Hundreds of residents celebrate Irvine’s outdoors
BY TRACY CHILDS
On the stunning morning of April 14, residents gathered at Quail Hill to celebrate two open space milestones in Irvine’s long history of preservation and access:
- The 30th anniversary of the Open Space Agreement, which enabled the permanent preservation of thousands of acres of the city’s natural areas, including Quail Hill.
- The 10th anniversary of The Irvine Ranch California Natural Landmark (CNL) designation.
“Anniversaries such as today’s really do bring an entire community together,” Mayor Donald Wagner said. “Whether we regularly visit our built parks, bikeways, trails and natural wildlands, we know that this precious and permanent open space gives us the beauty, the recreation, the relaxation, and the room to roam. “Open space,” the mayor added, “makes a city great.”
Master Plan approach resulted in one-third of Irvine being preserved as open space Irvine has always placed high priority on parks, trails and natural open space.
But the 1988 Open Space Agreement enabled the city and Irvine Company to work together to permanently preserve even larger amounts of natural open space while moving forward with Irvine’s thoughtful, long-range master-planned development.
As a result, 16,000 acres — more than one third of the entire city — are permanently preserved. In remarks to the audience, Irvine Company Vice President Jeffrey Davis credited the achievement to “the enduring vision of the Irvine Master Plan and the exceptional quality of life it makes possible.”
Davis noted that Irvine Company has contributed $50 million to ensure the long-term stewardship of the open space.
‘Places that feel like a state park, maybe even a national park’ Michael O’Connell, executive director of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, which manages many of Irvine’s natural open spaces, told the crowd:
“In Irvine there are places that feel like a state park, maybe even a national park. Not many cities can say they have that. But Irvine has open spaces that are truly spectacular.”
That’s a reason to celebrate.
It’s the year of open space in Irvine. More than 300 Irvine residents celebrated on Saturday that one third of the city is now forever preserved for open space, parks and trails resulting from Irvine’s Master Plan.
Posted by Irvine Standard on Thursday, April 19, 2018