As an Irvine Community Services Commissioner who spent many months working with Irvine residents and city staff on this project, I am proud to see that the OC Register‘s article Orange County’s 10 Best Playgrounds has rated Irvine’s newly re-designed and re-opened Irvine Adventure Playground at 1 Beach Tree Lane in University Park as the #1 children’s playground in Orange County.
The new Irvine Adventure Playground is the result of many years of dedicated activism by Irvine residents, numerous community hearings, hard work by city staff, and the collaboration and cooperation of all members of the Irvine Community Services Commission. We succeeded in creating an innovative and truly wonderful place for children to play while working within strict budget and liability constraints. As writer Michele Whiteaker has said, the new Irvine Adventure Playground is a great example of community activism, progressive planning and design, and governmental support all working together for the good of Irvine’s children and families.
Here is what Register writer Dawn Antis said about the Irvine Adventure Playground:
“One of only a few of its kind in the United States, Adventure Playground is one of the most unusual parks Orange County has to offer. Built in the 1970s and closed in 2008 for an extensive remodel, the unstructured play environment remains a favorite for locals since it reopened last December.
Shoes aren’t required, and children can play at their own risk in the shin-deep mud hole or build forts with giant Legos in the two most populated areas of the innovative play space. A sensory garden, gigantic tree house, sandboxes, an art zone, concrete slides, Tonka trucks galore, grassy hills, hammocks and a water pumping station can all be found here. The natural space is enclosed but spans almost 2 acres, so keeping a close eye on little ones is imperative. There are clean restrooms, shaded picnic tables and multiple hoses for rinsing off on the way out.
It’s easy to spend a couple of hours here, so pack a lunch along with a hat because shade is minimal. This playground has something for kids of all ages and is stroller- and wagon-friendly. For the ultimate experience, come on a weekday to avoid the crowds. The staff members are friendly, and parking and entrance are free.”
Congratulations to everyone — parents, community advocates, city staff, and my fellow Community Services Commissioners — who worked so hard together to make this new playground a reality!
If you have young children, please take them to visit our new Irvine Adventure Playground! It is, as Michelle Whiteaker has said, “a symbol of what childhood play could and should be.”