In a time where open space is often being devoured by land developers, it’s inspiring to read the news of a recent 20,000 acre land grant. In June 2010 The Irvine Company gifted the land to Orange County Parks System.
The grant encompasses six wilderness areas, averaging about 3,300 acres each.
The Irvine Company owns a large portion of Orange County that covers the former Irvine Ranch, which dates back to the ranching days in California’s history. They are the county’s single largest developer of residential, commercial and retail properties.
They also have a philanthropic side, donating and setting aside other land preserves throughout the years.
This grant is of special interest to me because I love to hike in areas like these, gathering inspiration for my paintings.
Limestone Canyon, which is known as the “Grand Canyon of Orange County”, is a part part of this grant. My husband and I have hiked into this beautiful, multi-colored landscape quite a bit, and love the vibrant reds and pinks on the hillsides.
An exciting point about this grant is that it increases the Orange County Parks land holdings by 50%. This grant demonstrates an ongoing partnership between the Parks Commission and the Irvine Company’s Ranch Conservancy, demonstrating that big business and land preservation groups can work together on mutually beneficials goals.