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IRVINE – The Orange County Great Park invites Southern California families to enjoy the opening of the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex, a 30-acre expansion of the Great Park’s public space, and participate in Great Summer Games II on Saturday, September 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Great Summer Games II will provide a fun-filled day of athletic competitive games, sports clinics, and a variety of fitness activities for the whole family to enjoy.
• New Sports Facilities: The South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex expands the Great Park’s sports facilities and includes lighted four tournament-quality soccer fields, two of which are synthetic grass. Other features include four full-size basketball courts, a new 2,528 square-foot restroom and operations facility building dubbed Visitors Center #1, as well as the planting of more than 300 trees.
• Visitors Center Pavilion: Located near the Great Park Balloon, the 4,762-square-foot Visitors Center Pavilion is the first newly constructed permanent structure to open on the former MCAS El Toro. It provides visitors with a welcoming first stop on visits for rides on the Great Park Balloon and Carousel. It features a large lobby, restroom facilities, retail area, and office space. Approximately 35 tons of structural steel were used in the construction of the Visitors Center Pavilion as well as 1,000 tons of El Toro Stone, which are pieces of the demolished concrete runways from the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. El Toro Stone was also used to create a gabion wall on the south side of the facility.
• Kaiser Permanente Thrive Path: The mile-long Kaiser Permanente Thrive Path takes visitors on a scenic journey around the North and South Lawns. It features four interpretive signs with Kaiser Permanente health and fitness information and 10 markers to help joggers and walkers measure the distance of their run or walk.
• Reflecting Ponds and Viewing Pier: A pair of reflecting ponds and a 2,200 square-foot wooden viewing pier near the Marine Way entrance now welcomes visitors to the Great Park. The reflecting ponds connect to the Walkable Historical Timeline and link the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex with the Great Park Balloon. The reflecting ponds and additional storm water retention ponds are the first water features at the Great Park.
• Walkable Historical Timeline: The Walkable Historical Timeline has been completely re-imagined with a new aesthetic look and has been expanded from 750 feet to 2,604 feet. It includes 162 significant historical events and serves as a natural connection between the Great Park Balloon and the reflecting ponds and viewing pier. Walkable Historical Timeline Handbooks will be available for free in the Visitors Center Pavilion while supplies last. The 52-page, bound Handbooks were created by the two University of California, Irvine Professors Emeriti of History who developed the historical details highlighted on the Timeline, Keith L. Nelson and Spencer C. Olin.
• Giant Chess Boards and Outdoor Ping Pong tables: Two giant chess boards are located in a picnic area between the soccer fields and four outdoor ping pong tables ring the east side of the South Lawn. Giant chess pieces and ping pong paddles will be available for check out at the Visitors Support Center #1. Ping pong balls will be available for purchase.
• Storm Water Collection System: The South Lawn features a