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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Reata Park and Event Center Grand Opening on May 31

Anyone who has driven by the Reata Park and Event Center on Ortega Highway on the east edge of San Juan Capistrano has noticed the progress.  From a largely neglected space has emerged a beautiful, expansive and historic park that will be unique among all of San Juan’s open space.  Purchased from Rancho Mission Viejo using open space bond money, the space was originally slated for development as part of the Ranch Plan.  Some of the labor required to build the park has been donated by a hard working group of volunteers working with the San Juan Capistrano Open Space Foundation.  According to the Foundation’s Reata project page:

In late 2012, the city council approved plans for Reata Park and Event Center, an 18-acre public open space area located in the eastern section of town. This land is part of the city’s 132-acre open space purchase that also includes the adjacent RMV Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano. Roughly 40% of our city is open space, and this parcel of land is a critical part of the city’s open space holdings as it connects trails that continue to Caspers Wilderness Park, provides more recreational space, and preserves 42 acres of open space/creek habitat.  Construction of Reata Park is being funded by donations and grants received by the Open Space Foundation. Foundation volunteers are hard at work transforming this historic, but unusable site into a beautiful, accessible public area that will soon come to life with weddings, family reunions, dog shows, and other community events.

The money raised by the Foundation is going toward making numerous improvements to the site. A historic structure is being restored and will serve as a new Welcome Center. Shade structures will remain and trails, restrooms, animal-proof trash containers, and parking are being added. The plan also provides areas for outdoor gatherings, group events, access to multi-use trails, and an equestrian staging area. The park is fully ADA-compliant, including the addition of a mounting ramp for the disabled in the equestrian area. Healthy trees and plants are being preserved, and new citrus, sycamore and coast live oak trees will be planted. A highlight of the new park is the Native Plant Garden, which will feature a wide variety of drought-tolerant plants. Phase 1 construction should be completed in early 2014.

The images below show a view of the location before and after the park-building effort:

image source: San Juan Capistrano Open Space Foundation

Now nearly complete, the City of San Juan Capistrano has announced a grand opening and dedication ceremony for Reata on May 31, 2014:

A Dedication Ceremony and Grand Opening of the Reata Park & Event Center will take place on Saturday, May 31, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Dedication Ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. with fun festivities taking place immediately following. The event is open to the public and there will be no charge for all activities other than food and drink which will be available to purchase. Activities open to the public include: live entertainment, dancing, a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatable fun for the kids, a Birds of Prey Exhibit, fun stories and songs by “Cowboy Ken,” docent tours and exhibits. The Reata Park & Event Center is located at 28632 Ortega Highway, on the corner of Ortega Highway and La Pata. For more information about the event or to inquire about renting the Reata Park & Event Center, please call (949) 493-5911.

More information is available on the flyer below:

source: City of San Juan Capistrano

Congratulations to the City of San Juan Capistrano, the Open Space Foundation and all of the volunteers who have worked so hard to build this beautiful space for us all to enjoy.

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