SPOTLIGHT: TURTLE ROCK COMMUNITY PARK AND NATURE CENTER
Location: 1 Sunnyhill Drive, Irvine.
Description: The facility includes a recreational park with a community center and a 5-acre nature preserve.
Facilities: Turtle Rock Community Park includes a community service center with one large room that serves as a dance hall and a community theater, and two smaller meeting rooms. The park also has facilities for picnicking, tennis, volleyball, Frisbee golf and softball. Reservations are recommended for large groups. The nature center includes an interpretive center set in a former paddock for the Irvine Ranch, a historical landmark. The building features displays on environmental protection, nature and local history, and a small collection of animals. A self-guided nature trail (paved for wheelchair access) winds through the preserve, which includes a stream and pond. Wildlife includes great-horned owls, raccoons, ducks, rabbits, lizards and squirrels. The park also administers nearby Bommer Canyon, a popular site for corporate picnics.
Programs: The community service center is the site of big band dances twice a month on Sunday afternoons, performances by Irvine Community Theatre, and seasonal events. Also offered are a preschool program and an after-school program for elementary schoolchildren (there is a waiting list). The nature center offers a “Nature and Kids” program. Call for details.
Hours: Community park hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Nature center hours are 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m. on weekends; closed Fridays.
Parking: Free parking areas at park.
Information: Community park, (714) 854-8144. Nature center, (714) 854-8151.
Mass transit: No OCTD bus service.