Fairview Park is the City’s largest park, hosting 195 acres of open space – natural area, and 13 acres of manicured landscape for a total of 208 acres. Within the 195 acres of open space there are two Nationally Registered Cultural Resource Historic Sites and five distinct habitat ecosystems which are home to many rare and endangered plant and animal species. The Park acts as a regional gateway to the Santa Ana River Trail, the Orange Coast River Park, and adjacent Orange County Talbert Regional Park, offering users multiple passive recreational opportunities such as picnicking, kite flying, wildlife observation, environmental education, and 7 miles of trails for walking or bicycling. The Park also hosts a miniature railroad and model airplane flying field both run by partnering non-profits, and hosts a number of City-wide special events throughout the year.
On the second Saturday of every month, the Institute of Conservation Research and Education (ICRE) conducts "walks and workdays" in Costa Mesa's beautiful 208-acre nature park. Walks generally last about one hour of the two-hour event time slot, are on flat to moderate terrain, utilizing unpaved trails in natural areas. Tours are led by one of ICRE's biologists familiar with the park's rich diversity of flora and fauna. Each Saturday focuses on different plant materials and habitats, or wildlife species depending on the season. For further description of each event, please go to: ICREglobal. Workdays make up the second hour of the event, providing an opportunity to get your hands dirty and help restore Fairview Park's natural resources. Work includes either native plant removal or planting native restoration sites. All materials such as gloves and gardening tools will be provided. School Service hours can be obtained through this event. For further description of each event, please go to: ICREglobal. Registration is for both the walk and workday, however, participation in just one aspect of the event is permitted.
In September 2009, Phase I of the Fairview Park Wetlands and Riparian Habitat Project was completed. Seventeen acres of riparian habitat was planted, wetland ponds and streams graded, and an irrigation system installed. Funding for Phase I was provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Parks and Recreation and the City’s Park Development Fund
Wetlands Phase II
Six acres of wetland ponds
Five acres of native grasslands
Three acres of oak trees
Nine acres of coastal sage scrub
760 trees planted
8,700 shrubs planted
19,000 CY of dirt moved to create the ponds and channels