The Great Park Project which is currently underway in Orange County, California on the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station will be used as a research platform to develop projects, texts, actions, and discourse around the contemporary notion of "park".
The Great Park Project as presented by Futurefarmers is a critical enquiry into the future land use of this former military base. The project was conceived for the 2004 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art and Orange Lounge.
[This can tend to be confusing, but basically, there is a large urban planning project under way in Orange County, California which Futurefarmers is using as a platform to create ongoing research and projects.]
The Great Park Project on Orange County’s former El Toro Marine Corps is currently being developed into “America’s biggest public park”. This transitional space offers fertile ground for research and discourse surrounding notions of the political and social organization of open space in urban areas.
The current architecture of the former El Toro site includes an airstrip, radio tower, theater, baseball fields, handball courts, over 100 buildings including a hangar sitting on over 4,700 acres of open space within the nations second most densely populated area.
A total of 25 potentially contaminated areas have been identified on the Air Station, including four landfills suspected of containing both hazardous and solid waste, and other areas where polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), battery acids, leaded fuels, and other hazardous substances were suspected of being dumped or spilled. A Remedial Investigation conducted by El Toro has identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) primarily trichloroethene (TCE) in groundwater that has migrated more than three miles off base. The primary source of the groundwater contamination is two large aircraft hangars. Approximately 1,100 acres of land are irrigated by wells located within three miles of the site; however, none of these wells are drinking water sources. Surface water flows into the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, located approximately eight miles from the base.
History of the Land:
Formerly a lima bean farm.