I recently visited the Orange County Great Park and was pleased to be able to view this development at its beginning stages.Ã‚Â The Great Park is being created from the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.Ã‚Â The planning process for Great Park had a few delays and detours just after the base was closed in the process known as Base Reuse and Closure.Ã‚Â However, while communities across America are still struggling to reuse their closed bases, great progress is being made to create one of the largest urban parks in America in Orange County.Ã‚Â In fact, when built out in the coming years, Orange County Great Park will be larger than New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Central Park and San FranciscoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Golden Gate Park COMBINED.
But it is not just size that makes your Great Park great.Ã‚Â It will offer sports parks for children and families, a two-and-a-half mile nature canyon, an almost thousand-acre nature preserve, a twenty-acre lake, botanical gardens, a great lawn, a performing arts venue, and wildlife corridors to the Cleveland National Forest and the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.Ã‚Â Not only that, but all of this is being planned to include both environmentally and ecologically sound practices. And all of these facilities will be linked with public transportation, making it easy for everyone to visit this Great Park.
I am pleased that Great Park will also preserve the history of this important place. The El Toro Marine Corps Air Station had an important role in our nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s military history, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m pleased that the final design includes a memorial to our nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s veterans as well as an aircraft museum.
One of the important early elements in the park plan is the reuse of a former hangar to serve as a cultural center.Ã‚Â And, while it needs rehabilitation work, I am pleased to have joined forces with the Great Park by requesting that federal funds be appropriated to help rehabilitate and refurbish the hangar so that it will become a central part of the Great Park as its cultural center.
Development of the Great Park is a massive undertaking.Ã‚Â However, change is already underway. Over time, you will begin to see the fundamental changes that will be needed to create the various elements of the park.Ã‚Â I hope you share my excitement for what the future will bring.Ã‚Â If you would like to see a few pictures of my visit, I invite you to follow this link.Ã‚Â
United States Senator