Families from throughout Orange County can expect their kids to come home with dirty hands after a day at one of the Orange County Great Park’s Children’s Gardening Workshops. The free monthly workshop series at the Great Park’s Farm + Food Lab provides hands-on gardening activities for children ages 3 - 9.
The Children’s Gardening Workshops take place every second Sunday of the month from 11 am to 1 pm and are offered every 30 minutes. All workshops are free to the public and run through June 8, 2014. The Children’s Gardening Workshop series has been developed in cooperation with the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Orange County.
Growing a Rainbow
Three Sisters Gardening: A Native American Tradition
Garden Detectives 2: What’s All the Buzzing About?
The Web of Life
For additional information about the Orange County Great Park, please visit www.ocgp.org or call 866-829-3829.
The Orange County Great Park is located off the 405 or 5 Freeways at Sand Canyon and Marine Way in Irvine. Admission to most park events is free; parking for special events is $10. For more information call (866) 829.3829.
We are pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon will return to the Orange County Great Park in 2015. This award-winning program challenges collegiate teams from across the nation and around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.
From 2002 through 2011, the National Mall in Washington, D.C. served as the venue for five successful Solar Decathlons. In 2013, for 10 days from October 3-13, the City of Irvine hosted the Solar Decathlon at the Orange County Great Park, attracting 64,000 visitors from around the world. In the Fall of 2015, Solar Decathlon again returns to the Great Park.
U.S. Department of Energy’s Deputy Secretary, Daniel Poneman, recently announced the 20 university teams selected to participate in Solar Decathlon 2015. The collegiate teams include 8 returning teams and 12 new teams. The 20 university teams include:
The Solar Decathlon 2015 teams now begin a two-year process to design, test and build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence. We will follow their progress from now until the fall of 2015 when the teams reassemble their houses on the competition site at the Orange County Great Park.
For more information, please visit U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
On a chilly morning in late December, both current and former members of the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors gathered to dedicate the Great Park’s Visitors Center Pavilion and honor the elected officials and the community and business partners involved in delivering the facility to the public.
Current Great Park Board members participating in the ceremony included Chair Jeff Lalloway, Vice Chair Christina Shea, Director Larry Agran, Director and Irvine Mayor Steven S. Choi and Director Beth Krom. Former Great Park Board members in attendance included former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang, Bill Kogerman, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, and James “Walkie” Ray.
The new 4762-square-foot Visitors Center Pavilion is adjacent to the Great Park Balloon; it features a large lobby, restroom facilities and office space for Park staff. The facility provides a welcoming first stop for those looking for flights on the Great Park Balloon, rides on the Carousel or more information about Park programs and activities. Park visitors will notice a special feature of the building – approximately 1,000 tons of El Toro Stone (pieces of the demolished concrete runways from the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro) were used in the construction of the Visitors Center Pavilion. The runway pieces were used to create a gabion retaining wall made of stacked stone-filled gabions tied together with wire filled with El Toro Stone on the south side of the facility.
The Visitors Center Pavilion was constructed along with the new South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex, which opened in September. The 30-acre expansion added four tournament-quality soccer fields, four basketball courts, the mile-long Kaiser Permanente Thrive Path, reflecting ponds and a viewing pier, giant chess sets and more to the Great Park.
Photos courtesy of Cliff Wallace, Deputy CEO, Orange County Great Park
Through this public-private partnership between the City of Irvine and Five Point Communities, progress on the Orange County Great Park continues. Other Great Park features already complete include the Great Park Carousel, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, Walkable Historical Timeline, Palm Court Arts Complex, South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex, and Historic Hangar 244. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Southern California enjoy the Orange County Great Park’s array of recreational and educational opportunities, including panoramic views from the iconic Great Park Balloon that rises 400 feet in the air.
With its approximate 1,300-acre master plan, the Great Park is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. The Orange County Great Park is located at Sand Canyon and Marine Way, and can easily be reached by the 5 or 405 freeways.
On the horizon, Saddleback Mountain fades into the distance… a bit closer you see the great orange balloon rising in the sky… but immediately within the entry gates at the Orange County Great Park, the beautiful new Reflecting Ponds & Viewing Pier beckons.
This new feature at the Great Park is a welcome sight for all guests who venture into the Park. Added as part of the 30-acre Western Sector Park expansion project, the Reflecting Ponds & Viewing Pier does double duty as a storm water retention facility. But Park guests will appreciate the ponds for the beauty and wonder they add to the landscape.
After contemplating the beauty of the Reflecting Ponds & Viewing Pier, take a stroll down the Walkable Historical Timeline. The Timeline takes visitors on a 2,604-foot walk through history, with more than 100 historical details added since the original timeline was installed. It is a natural connector to other Park featues like the Great Park Balloon and more points of interest just beyond at the Visitors Center Pavilion.
The new 4,762-square-foot Visitors Center Pavilion adjacent to the Great Park Balloon features a large lobby, restroom facilities, retail area and office space for Park staff. Additional new Park features include the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex, expanding the Great Park’s sports programs. The complex includes four tournament-quality soccer fields and four full-size basketball courts.
Other charming new features at the Great Park are the Giant Chess Boards located within the picnic area between the soccer fields and new ping pong tables, which ring the east side of the South Lawn. Giant chess pieces and ping pong paddles are available for check out at the Visitors Center. Completing the fitness complex is a mile-long Kaiser Permanente Health and Fitness Trail.
All the new features at the Orange County Great Park are enhanced by the addition of more than 300 new trees that have been added to the landscape.