It was Halloween, Oct 30 1972, when we moved into one of the first developed track of homes in the new city of Irvine, called the Ranch. For 17 years we lived in this beautiful "Master Planned"city, which to this day is still one of the most sought after places to live
Originally consisting of 'Rancho San Joaquin, Rancho Lomas de Santiago, and a part of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, these thousand of acres became the Irvine Ranch in 1866, when James Irvine and his three partners stocked them with Merino sheep and went into the wool business. Irvine bought out his partners in 1876, died in 1886 and left the Ranch to his son James Jr.
In 1960 architect and urban planner William Pereira was commissioned to create a vision for the Irvine Ranch, he developed a master plan, and a new city - Irvine. The Irvine Company, under the leadership of Chairman Donald Bren, has continued this plan and over the years conservation has reached new levels. While the more urban areas, have been and continue to be, developed with track homes, there is 50,000 acres being preserved and protected forever for the use of anyone who wishes to enjoy the benefits of nature. These lands have been named a Natural Landmark by both the "U.S. Department of the Interior" and the "State of California".
Stretching from the sea to the mountains the Irvine Ranch is teeming with wildlife - birds, deer, bobcats, mountain lions; the hills are covered in coastal sage brush and chapparal; and there are hundred species of unique and threatened plants and animals whose survival depends on the habitat preservation.
Today the Irvine Ranch encompasses many different areas of Orange County, but residents and visitors alike can always find a park, lake, hiking trails and campgrounds to spend time in the outdoors.