This article was written by guest columnist, Alyssa Carle
Recently, I met with longtime Turtle Rock and University Park resident, Ed McNew. We decided to meet at one of his favorite Irvine spots. I watched as 91-year-old Ed carefully made his way up the path to the top of Sepulveda Vista Point in the southern-most part of Irvine. He sat under the shade of a grand Brazilian pepper tree.
The view at Sepulveda Vista Point is breathtaking! You can clearly see the ocean and all of Irvine with Saddleback Mountain on full display.
The 1.3-acre park is named after Don José Andrés Sepulveda. Sepulveda was a leader of the Pueblo de Los Angeles. He spent his summers on “Rancho San Joaquin,” a 50,000-acre ranch that he sold to James Irvine in 1864. The ranch spanned the southern portion of what is now the City of Irvine.
Ed has always been a history buff. He told me that his fascination with Sepulveda began while helping his granddaughter with a school project on the ranchos. He was captivated by Sepulveda’s lavish but tragic life. Wanting to learn more, Ed reached out to local historians; read books on Irvine’s history; and combed the Internet for more details. Soon after, Ed began dressing up in costume and playing the part of Sepulveda in historical presentations for Irvine elementary school children at the Irvine Historical Museum. Ed said that he really needed a horse, but the museum couldn’t accommodate that part of his presentation!
Thanks to Ed’s extensive research and his advocacy for the City to honor Sepulveda’s ties to Irvine, this quaint but beautiful park bears Sepulveda’s name. And, now the City of Irvine has decided to name the road leading up to the park after Ed.
McNew Trail has just been approved and the new signpost will be installed within the next week or so. In addition, two bronze plaques — one for Ed and one for Sepulveda — will be placed at the site.
When our conversation ended, I watched Ed carefully walk back down the path. I couldn’t help but smile as I envisioned a silhouette of Sepúlveda walking alongside Ed, with one arm across his shoulders in gratitude and friendship.
The park is located at 4 Federation Way, and is open daily from 7am until 8pm.
Alyssa Carle has been a Certified Community Manager for four years. She received the Powerstone Property Management’s Exceptional Service Award in 2022. For the past two years, Alyssa has been working onsite for The Terrace Community Association, a beautiful tree laden community in Irvine located near Michelson and University Drive.
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