Park gets addition

Representatives of the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park are delighted with a 172-acre donation of land to the park system by the Irvine Co. The parcel is part of a huge, 20,000-acre donation of land, most of it located in eastern Orange County — including Black Star Canyon and Santiago Canyon — which was handed over to Orange County officials on June 29.

The 172-acre Laguna Laurel parcel is located east of Laguna Canyon Road, adjacent to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, which includes parts of Laguna Beach. The parcel will become part of the wilderness park.

"We laud Donald Bren and the Irvine Co. for their generous gift of 20,000 acres to the people of Orange County," said Laguna Canyon Foundation Board President Don Vivrette. "This open space will provide essential habitat for wildlife as well as expanded recreational, research and educational opportunities. The addition of 172 acres to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park continues the process that began when we founded Laguna Canyon Foundation nearly 20 years ago. We look forward to continuing our partnership with OC Parks in supporting the South Coast Wilderness."

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park consists of about 7,000 acres, comprising Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Crystal Cove State Park and other acreage.

The 20,000-acre gift brings the total acreage donated by the company to 50,000 acres, more than 10 times the size of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, according to the Irvine Co.

"When we announced our decision to permanetly protect these magnificent lands 30 years ago, we made it very clear that ultimately the land would be owned and enjoyed by the people of Orange County," Bren said in a statement issued by the company June 29. "Today's final segment of the gift ensures that these spectacular natural resources will provide a stunning array of outdoor opportunities and will be protected and cared for in perpetuity."

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