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New Web Site Launched for Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks

The Irvine Ranch Conservancy and partners today launched a new, highly interactive Web site that makes it easier than ever for the public to discover and explore the wonders of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Partners on the site include OC Parks, the City of Irvine, California State Parks, the City of Newport Beach, Laguna Canyon Foundation and Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends.

The new Web site – www.irlandmarks.org – replaces the Conservancy’s former site, irvineranchwildlands.org. Among many enhancements, the new state-of-the-art Web site features a large, interactive map on the homepage that brings the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks to life at the click of a mouse. The new irlandmarks.org is filled with detailed descriptions and stunning photos of the thousands of acres of preserved land, along with updated features and tools that enable visitors to quickly find information about the land, register for programs, and learn how to become involved in a huge variety of activities and volunteer opportunities.

“We are very excited to launch this new Web site on behalf of all the partners working on the open space,” said Michael O’Connell, executive director of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. “It was designed as a simple, virtual gateway for the public so that they can have a seamless experience in this spectacular area regardless of who owns the land. Through the use of abundant photos and descriptions of what makes the Landmarks so special, the site will help deepen people’s appreciation for and connection to the land. And we hope it will encourage people to come out and discover these wonderful places for themselves and get involved in caring for them forever for future generations.”

Nearly 40,000 acres of open space on the historic Irvine Ranch have been designated a Natural Landmark by both the U.S. Department of the Interior and the State of California, in recognition of their scientific value and importance.

Highlights of the newly enhanced irlandmarks.org Web site:

• A new large interactive map on the homepage collects the wilderness areas, parks and other features into a single, easily accessible location. Visitors can mouse over a specific place on the land, click on the corresponding popup box, and read about activities, view photos, and get directions. One more click takes visitors to a sorted menu of activities and more information about the natural resources and history of each place.

• A feature on the homepage enables visitors to learn more about all the partners working to care for and manage the Landmarks. By clicking on their logos, a new window opens and visitors are taken directly to a partner organization’s own Web site.

• The homepage now also features a site search function and a button that instantly enables visitors to sign up for activities. People may view activities sorted by either type (such as hiking or mountain biking) or by place.

• The new site makes it easier than ever to get involved in the land. A variety of volunteering opportunities are explained throughout the site – and most pages feature a button visitors can click to quickly fill out a volunteer interest form.

Partners working on the land include many local, state and federal agencies, non-profits, and community organizations. The Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-advocacy organization established in 2005 to help protect the wildlands and parks on the historic Irvine Ranch and enhance the public’s connection to them, while assisting with all aspects of stewardship. They offer a variety of free guided outdoor programs for all nature enthusiasts including hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding and much more. To learn more about the Conservancy, visit www.irconservancy.org or call 714.508.4757.

The new Web site was designed by Kokinakes Design (www.kokinakesdesign.com) and programmed by Sitewire Marketspace Solutions, LLC (www.sitewire.com).