A drive by of Fairview Park in Costa Mesa doesn't inspire much awe. About half of the park looks like any other: sad grass, lonely picnic tables, and shade trees. The other half of the park, however, is a natural, wildlife habitat, peaking out in the distance. Tonight, the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee will vote on whether or not a portion of this more-rugged habitat with native plants should be leveled and transformed into athletic facilities that will require sprinkler systems, destroy wildlife, and remove just a little bit more of the land that makes planet Earth so gosh-darned pretty and not manicured Irvine.
In July, the Department of Fish and Wildlife released a seven-page report on Fairview Park, identifying measures that should be taken to restore the health of native plants and animals. Curiously, killing them wasn't mentioned anywhere. The wildlife zones are home to burrowing owls (cute!) and raptors (not those kind). Vernal pools are camouflaged in the dirt and brush, allowing runoff to eventually seep back into the earth. The pools are shelter for the endangered and awesome-sounding San Diego Fairy Shrimp. See, they are fun:
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There's also that drought thing. Some cities are throwing money at people who rip out their lawns and replace it with native plants--but Costa Mesa is considering just the opposite. Fairview may have some withered landscaping, but the environmental cost is not worth a subjective, aesthetic boost. Let the kids play soccer in the street.
The meeting will be held in the Victoria Room at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center at 1845 Park Ave. Be there at 6 p.m. See you there!