Revitalizing The Canyon

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    Maxwell Borella (left) and Derek Ostensen (second from left) are overseeing the reconstruction of Big Bend.
Maxwell Borella (left) and Derek Ostensen (second from left) are overseeing the reconstruction of Big Bend. Photo: Joe Mozdzen

This summer, the Laguna Canyon Foundation celebrated the completion of the first stage of a five-year plan to reintegrate native vegetation into scenic Big Bend’s landscape. The venture, a partnership between the Laguna Canyon Foundation and the Orange County Transportation Authority, will restore an otherwise forgotten piece of property that many consider representative of the entrance to the city. “This property has been a degraded lot for years. … Big Bend has been identified by biologists as one of the most critical wildlife connection points in the South Coast Wilderness system of parks and preserves,” Derek Ostensen, president of the Laguna Canyon Foundation, explains of the initiative. Further construction throughout the year will introduce a walking loop, benches, more than 25 species of indigenous flora and 20-year-old oak trees to the area’s 3.5 acres of creek and coastal park. Adding to the beauty of the revitalized land, the indigenous plants selected will attract a variety of birds and insects after a two-year maturation period. Derek comments, “I think the public will be enthused to see the plethora of native butterflies, hummingbirds and mammals that will come to occupy the site over time.” —L.M.

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