Sustainability permeates every aspect of the Great Park’s design. The Park will generate and demonstrate cutting edge ideas and technologies and will inspire people to make changes in their own lives, making a profound impact far beyond the Park’s boundaries. These goals include habitat restoration, renewable energy generation, water quality management, transportation, and more.
Sustainability means utilizing the rich materials that already exist at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and showcasing their use in the construction of the Great Park. The former base has existing resources that are far too beautiful to overlook. We plan to build bridges with the redwood now built into the military hangars. We will recycle the concrete runways to build the veterans memorial and roadways. We will clean existing storm water to be returned into the groundwater table. We will be energy-efficient.”
Restored native habitats are found in three major sections of the Park — the Wildlife Corridor, Agua Chinon, and the Canyon. Native plant communities are found in other areas as well, including the Botanic Garden.
The Wildlife Corridor, off limits to the general public, is reserved for animal movement from the mountains to the sea. Agua Chinon also links nature preserves north to south, but it is crisscrossed by paths so that visitors can enjoy this natural area. The Canyon will be home to hundreds of beautiful palm trees in addition to streams and pools that will support wildlife.
Our obligation to future generations is to maintain clean water for their future use. To this end, the Park will have an array of natural treatment systems (NTS) implemented in a three-stage treatment process. These systems will capture and clean water as it ebbs and flows through the Park. Water will be recycled for irrigation within the Park with the goal of keeping water usage to a minimum.
The Great Park is designed to promote sustainable means of transportation. The Park is easily accessible by mass transit via the Irvine Station near Marine Way. Those coming by car can park once and spend the day. Once they arrive, visitors have a selection of ways to get around that do not require gasoline or generate pollution. A non-polluting shuttle system will take visitors to major park attractions. They can also use an orange bike which will be available at little to no cost. It is easy to bike because the Park’s bike trails mesh with City and regional trail networks. Walkers and hikers have a choice of gentle or challenging routes. All sections of the park are accessible to all people, regardless of physical ability.
Renewable Energy Generation
The Great Park is considering installing over 1 Megawatt of renewable energy generation on-site through a variety of technologies. Throughout the Park, site lighting will have small photovoltaic cells attached to the lamp posts that will charge batteries to power lights at night. A small hydrogen fuel cell demonstration is also being considered.