Great Park Farm + Food Lab
The Farm + Food Lab provides a unique and interactive outdoor classroom for visitors of all ages, featuring themed raised-bed gardens, fruit trees, vertical gardening, a chicken coop, a worm compost bin and solar and wind-powered lights. Open seven days a week and staffed by University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, the Farm + Food Lab is the perfect place to enhance your gardening knowledge or learn the basics of starting your first garden.
Half-hour guided tours are available Tuesday – Friday at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Reservations are highly encouraged. To schedule a tour or field trip, please call 949.724-7418.
Food For Thought Film Series
As the season of harvest is coming upon us it’s a great time to learn more about where our food comes from, how it’s produced, and what we can do to ensure a healthy, secure, and sustainable food future for all. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic dinner, and join us for this season’s enlightening movie picks.
Dirt: The Movie
Gates open at 6:30 pm and films begin at dusk. Adults and families with children 7+ are welcome to attend.
Children’s Garden WorkshopSunday, September 14
“For Solar Decathlon 2015, we want to challenge teams further by requiring them to power not only their energy-efficient house but also their transportation,” said Richard King, Solar Decathlon director. “The addition of the Commuting Contest expands the competition from a house to a household and demonstrates the power of clean energy lifestyles in and beyond the home.”
Vehicles used in the 2015 Commuting Contest must be fully electric—representing zero-emission transportation to complement the net-zero houses. All vehicles used by the teams must be commercially available; have four wheels; seat at least two individuals side by side; and be licensed, registered, and insured. Vehicle-to-building integration solutions must be aesthetically pleasing, functional, and convenient.
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.
Solar Decathlon 2015 will be held October 8 – 18, 2015 with competition houses open to visitors from 11am – 7pm daily on eight days over two weekends:
This is your opportunity to tour the highly efficient, solar-powered houses designed, built, and operated by the Solar Decathlon collegiate teams. Talk to the students, gather ideas, and learn about energy-saving features that can help you save money. (During the remaining dates the Solar Decathlon village will be closed for competition activities.)
The 18 collegiate teams selected to participate in Solar Decathlon 2015 include:
Solar Decathlon 2015 teams have begun a two-year process to design, test and build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence. This time, teams will be challenged further by requiring them to power not only their energy-efficient house but also their transportation. 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. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend!
For more information, please visit their website.
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.