Last month’s article in this space was titled “Build the Great Park Veterans Cemetery, NOW!  And let’s surround it with an urban forest!”  My article prompted a remarkable outpouring of community interest, including the idea of a “Trees and Trails” plan put forward by Ed Pope, who is running for Mayor in our November 6th election.

Pope, of course, led the historic “NO on B” campaign — to save the planned Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park from a giveaway and massive development scheme concocted by Mayor Donald Wagner and developer FivePoint.  Pope is now running for Mayor on a pledge to actually start building the Great Park Veterans Cemetery immediately, something Wagner refuses to do.

Pope and his two running mates — Jaci Woods and Frank McGill, who are running for two open City Council seats — have pledged to immediately begin construction of the Veterans Cemetery with demolition, site cleanup, and preliminary site preparation.  But now, the “NO on B” Team of Three has added a commitment to include in their “immediate” construction plans a comprehensive Trees and Trails Plan that can be ready for implementation right away, in a matter of months.  “Let’s face it,” Pope declared, “the sooner we can get thousands of trees planted, the sooner we can begin to enjoy the benefits of a magnificent urban forest — a collection of trees and trails that surrounds the beautiful Great Park Veterans Cemetery, which will gradually grow to more than 100,000 gravesites over the next 100 years.”

Good idea, Ed!  Good luck!

Harvey H. Liss

Harvey H. Liss

Harvey H. Liss, a former Irvine Planning Commissioner, holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics and is a California Licensed Civil Engineer. Dr. Liss is a longtime resident of Woodbridge, the iconic Irvine village he helped design in the 1970s. He now reports for ICNV on environmental issues.
Harvey H. Liss