Irvine Regional Park, and the Orange County Zoo, are a pair of well hidden, but easily reachable, gems in Orange County.
Just find Jamboree Rd. and head northeast, or get on Chapman Ave. (OCTA Bus #54, Mon. thru Sat.), the one that takes you east to Santiago College near Chapman & Jamboree.
You see, Jamboree deadends right into the park, just east of the college.
Simple, hee, hee! ;-D
Second Saturday of the Month Trail Day at Irvine Regional Park sees Rangers and enthusiastic volunteers doing, um, yard work, at the park. ;-D
If my parents were alive, and young, and able, they would have been so there, because Dad spent 15 years as a groundskeeper at Pomona College, and Mom loved gardening.
Coincidentally members of the OC Hiking Club helped out in the partial clearing of one patch of land at Santiago Canyon, & Jamboree, just as Jamboree goes down into the park, on the morning of January 8th.
Park Ranger Jim gave my partner in getting our hands dirty (John Bryce), and I, a quick drive around the park, including showing us a raging creekbed that was the reason why access to certain part of the park was not allowed for a while.
Then it was over to our assigned work where Ranger Maureen brought us all the tools, and trash bags we would need.
Yup, just the 2 of us, as no-one else in the club volunteered. ;-D
As I wrote in my review on the club site:
"Boy, am I gonna feel this in my bones tomorrow! ;-D
John, and I, spent a cool 4 hours traipsing about a small triangle of land at Santiago & Jamboree, at the northeast corner of the college, pulling up, cutting down, and bagging, several varieties of invasive plants that had set up residence here."
In the before, and after, photos, here, you can see how much 2 old farts (He's 61, and I'm gonna be 51 in March!) can accomplish when we set mind, and muscle, to work. ;-D
Shovels, rakes, clippers, and equipment whose names I've since forgotten, but boy were they needed to get at some thick, and stubborn, roots. ;-D
We dug up, and chopped down, several Castor Bean Bushes.
Despite being responsible for Castor Oil the plant is deadly poisonous.
We dug up, and chopped to pieces, several small Tree Tobacco Plants.
Hmm... wonder what it smells like when it burns? ;-D
Seriously, this common roadside weed is used for a variety of medicinal purposes and smoked by some Native Americans.
Some think there may be a use for it as a biofuel.
One of the Good Guys, or um, Gals, or whatever! ;-D
Actually, there are 17 or 18 sages native to California, and this is just one.
Anyway, they were left alone.
We also pulled up several Thistle, another bad guy. We had to watch out for sharp spines which go right thru a light leather glove.
Get a whiff of that Fennel! ;-D
Another Good Guy! ;-D
All done! At least what 2 people, of our advanced years, and physical decreptitude, could accomplish in 4 hours. ;-D
I wore my "I'm Strange, Maybe Even Crazy, But There's Never a Dull Moment!" T-shirt ;-D
Only one of these bags is collected trash, tossed aside by passerby, that we also picked up.
The rest are the bushes we dug up, and cut into bits to fit in bags, and the Thistle, gently bagged.
So, why did we do this, and why will the corner eventually be completely clear?
It seems they want to erect a monument that will clearly let everyone driving in the area know there is a park, and a zoo, just down the road. ;-D
I guess they figure that's the only way to get all those folks texting, or talking on their cell phones, while driving, to be distracted enough to notice. ;-D