The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is a man-made wetland that covers an area of 300 acres (120 hectares; 0.47 square miles) and is located in Irvine, California. It is situated in the flood plain of San Diego Creek, right above the creek’s discharge into the Upper Newport Bay.
Prior to its restoration, the property had been farmed in the 1950s and 1960s, and before that, it had served as a duck hunting range. The land is currently held by the Irvine Ranch Water District. The reestablishment of the wetland areas started in the year 1988 and was finished in the year 2000. Both the removal of nitrates from the stream water and the provision of a habitat for birds are now being accomplished at this location. The water district also operates a wastewater treatment facility close to the animal sanctuary, but the processed wastewater does not enter the sanctuary.
Within the boundaries of the sanctuary, water from the creek seeps into a network of ponds that were built in 1997 and are surrounded by bulrushes. The ponds are routinely drained and reseeded, and the soil around them is covered with native vegetation.
An arboretum for trees that are not native to the area was established on a tiny hill at one of the site’s edges in celebration of Earth Day in the year 1990.
Nesting boxes have been given for the birds that will be attracted to the landscape, which was created specifically to attract birds. Monthly censuses have discovered over 120 species of birds, including terrestrial hawks, swallows, roadrunners, and hummingbirds. Waterbirds such as herons, egrets, pelicans, sandpipers, ducks, geese, and kingfishers predominate, but there are also sandpipers, sandpipers, ducks, geese, and kingfishers.
The sanctuaries welcome visitors every day throughout the daytime hours, and there are approximately 16 kilometers (nearly 10 miles) of hiking routes that are accessible to wheelchair users. In addition, there is free parking, access to restrooms, benches, and trail maps at the facilities. The Duck Club, which was transferred to its current location in the 1940s and served as the headquarters for two different hunting clubs up until 1988, is now used as a free meeting venue for charitable and other non-profit groups. A chapter office of the Audubon Society is located in another building, which was formerly occupied by the bunkhouse of the Duck Club.
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