May 2019

Plans for an upgraded  Peters Canyon Park unveiled

OC Parks presented plans for a revitalized Peters Canyon Regional Park at a public meeting, Apr. 8.

Peters Canyon, tucked between Jamboree and Canyon View in the viewshed of North Tustin and East Orange, is one of the most popular regional parks in the county. OC Parks has been exploring options to improve access, parking, restrooms and trails at Peters since 2015, when a series of public meetings were held to get user and neighborhood input.  

OC Parks Director Stacy Blackwood stressed that the improvements presented are, at this point, plans only. The plans are also being reviewed by California Fish and Wildlife and the Army Corps of Engineers, either of which could make changes. Once approved by those agencies and the OC Board of Supervisors, OC Parks will allot portions of its capital budget to revitalize the park in phases.

The first priority is restrooms. Flush toilets will be installed at the park’s main entrance, at the junction of Peters Canyon, Gnatcatcher and View Trails, and at the lower entrance off Peters Canyon Road in Tustin. A new entrance will be opened at Bent Tree Park in North Tustin, with a connection to Peters Canyon Trail. The Willow Trail will be moved westward, but will remain closed during nesting season. The Peters Canyon Creek Trail will be extended, with the long-closed portion reopened.

A permanent ranger station and maintenance building will be constructed at the main entrance, and an overflow parking lot added on county property at Skylark and Newport Avenue.  At the end of the priority list is a boardwalk crossing over the reservoir.

With the park’s old growth devastated by the 2017 Canyon 2 Fire, and the eucalyptus grove decimated by boring beetles, OC Parks hopes to fully restore the vegetation at some point in the future. Small restoration efforts have been underway. The rainy season greened up the burnt landscape, but major work is, Blackwood says, dependent on grant money. The goal is to replant large, mature trees, as opposed to saplings in five-gallon containers. “Mature trees will make a bigger difference,” Blackwood notes, “but they cost more.”

The park plan will likely go to the Board of Supervisors for approval in June.

Plans for an enhanced Peters Canyon Regional Park have been presented to the public, and will go to the Board of Supervisors for final approval in June.