Irvine’s park system No. 1 in California

With 268 parks in Irvine, there’s something for everyone

by TOM BERG

The Trust for Public Land named Irvine the No. 1 park system in California in its 2019 parks survey.

The primary reason: Think of your village parks. Irvine, through the Master Plan, features an abundant number of parks within walking distance to homes.

Research shows that spending time in parks improves memory, reduces stress and makes people happier. And it does not hurt that just living near a park has been proven to increase property values by up to 20%. These green retreats – 268 in all – provide the perfect backdrop for summer activities.

“We have so many parks,” says Ashlin Polatyan, a mom of three attending a family birthday party at Northwood Community Park. “It’s one of the reasons we live in Irvine – along with the schools, the people, and the safety.”

Fire up the grill

Most weekends, you’ll find Javier Barragan and his friends barbecuing in Crestview Park in Orchard Hills.

“This feels like summer to me,” says Barragan, serving up hot Korean ribs and carne asada to a table of family and friends.

Over at The Village Apartment Homes at Irvine Spectrum, it’s easy to find longtime resident Nicola Crudele this time of year. (Hint: it’s near the community grills.)

“What do you want — a burger or a dog?” he asks, spatula in hand. “We love the serenity here and all the great company. Look at these surroundings. It’s beautiful.”

 

Summer sports

In the water, on any given Saturday, you’ll find more than 2,000 boys and girls participating in the Irvine Swim League at various village pools.

“The coaches and parents have fun with the kids. There are snow cones, snack bars — it’s kind of a big pool party,” says league Executive Director Lizzie Howard.

Sports fields are also full of action.

“I’ve had the privilege of traveling around and seeing how lucky we are in Irvine,” says Kim Wojciechowski, who has coached softball for 10 years. “Our fields are laser-leveled and pristinely maintained. They’re the best.”

Moving up

The Trust for Public Land must have observed all the fun taking place in Irvine. In addition to naming Irvine parks tops in California, it ranked them No. 6 in all of America — up from No. 9 last year.

 

Barbecuing with family and friends is a popular activity at Crestview Park in Orchard Hills. Irvine’s network of 268 parks was named the No. 1 park system in California and the No. 6 park system in all of America.