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OC's Great Park Now Just Sorta Good

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Orange County's Great Park, that mega-municipal park to be built on the former El Toro Marine Base, is moving forward, but on a much more modest scale than originally planned. The Irvine City Council has approved a $65.5 million budget over the next 3-5 years to convert 225 acres into a park with "sprawling lawns, exhibition space, sports fields, farmland, citrus groves and a wildlife corridor." According to the LA Times, as the park moves forward, there will be less parkland and fewer amenities than originally intended, with acreage cut in half and three soccer fields instead of six. The artificial lake and 50-acre botanical garden have also been scrapped, at least for now. On the 225 acres to be cultivated, 90 of them will be a farm. Irvine has already spent $104 million on the park and all it has to show for the money so far is the (award winning) design and a "a tethered-balloon ride surrounded by a small 'preview park.'" Landscape architect Ken Smith doesn't have much to worry about though. He gets to keep his $10,000 per month retainer for the master design.
· Work to begin on a far more modest Orange County Great Park [LA Times]
· AIA Honors Orange County Great Park [Curbed LA]