The historic Irvine Ranch consists of 40,000 acres of open space that has been designated both a State and National Natural Landmark. Home to hundreds of native plants and animal species, the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are a model of how urban wilderness can be protected and managed through a network of public and private partnerships.
Over five years ago, Irvine Ranch Conservancy began a 17-acre restoration project in the hills of Agua Chinon Canyon, with the goal of removing invasive species that appeared after numerous fire and years of cattle grazing. With the site currently in the “maintenance” phase of habitat restoration, the focus is on invasive plant control, planting native flora and maintaining oak tree seedlings in the area. With careful monitoring and attention to the land, the Conservancy hopes to restore this area, so visitors can continue to enjoy a thriving ecosystem.
Restoration efforts heavily rely on the support and involvement of the community. More than five million people visit the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks each year to experience its many distinctive natural qualities. Stewardship programs held on the Landmarks continue to inspire growing, active public support for the land in surrounding communities. As an advocate for stewardship, Irvine Ranch Conservancy, in collaboration with partner organizations, offers a variety of activities and opportunities for the community to work together to conserve natural habitats throughout Orange County.
Connect with the land and give back to nature by volunteering at Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Native Seed Farm in Irvine. The garden-like farm promotes sustainability, helping to grow and tend the seed-producing plants along with harvesting seed to be used in restoration efforts on the Landmarks. Activities on the Native Seed Farm occur every Wednesday and Saturday morning - no experience necessary!
There’s no better way to observe World Nature Conservation Day than participating in Irvine Regional Park’s Watering Native Plants activity on Sunday, July 28 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Spend the morning watering new plants within their coastal sage scrub environment to help the new flora endure the hot summer months!
You can also join OC Parks every first Sunday of the month for Butterfly Garden Volunteer Day! On Sunday, August 4 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. volunteers will help to create a beautiful butterfly sanctuary for visitors to enjoy.
Celebrate conservation any day with Irvine Ranch Conservancy by signing up for a stewardship activity! To learn more about restoration projects and stewardship activities throughout the Landmarks, visit LetsGoOutside.org. Most activities are free and open to the public with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to each event.