The Not So Great Park

I live in Irvine, a relatively affluent community in Orange County, California. The city boast a large network of parks; back in 2002, the Great Park plan was approved by Orange County voters. To date, the park’s Board has spent over $128 million.

You’d think that with that much spent there would be a lovely park to see. There’s not. Other than a balloon and a summer concert series, the park–formerly, the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station–remains largely undeveloped. Today, the Orange County Register published an article asking the question, “When will Orange County get its Great Park?”

Some construction will be occurring in the near future: a 14 acre lawn, a carousel, and a number of sports fields. I guess $128 million doesn’t go as far as it used to. The Register notes that over $46 million was spent from June 2009 through June 2010. I’m unaware of any construction work done during that time.

Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea noted that there were lots of parties held by the Park Board. I receive (as an Irvine resident) a glossy mailer a few times a year on the Park.

Personally, I think a better name is the Great Boondoggle.


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