Turtle Ridge Trail was closed Monday after habitat restoration areas near the trail were vandalized, including destruction of several recently-planted Laurel Sumac hedges. An Irvine Police Department sergeant discovered native plant seedlings had been trampled, restoration notification signs pulled out of the ground, and trail markers destroyed along the trail in Bommer Canyon.
The public trail was completed by Irvine Ranch Conservancy in November 2011, and was the subject of a grant from REI and hundreds of hours of community volunteer work. Native plant restoration is key to trail building, helping to preserve the surrounding delicate habitat. The Turtle Ridge Trail in Irvine’s Open Space Preserve was open daily from dawn until dusk for hiking and biking. The Irvine Police Department regularly patrols Irvine’s Open Space Preserve.