Historic Moment Celebrated


Remembering the Fight to Save the Canyon        

A rally of 7,500 people protesting development in Laguna Canyon halted an Irvine Company developing 25 years ago.
A rally of 7,500 people protesting development in Laguna Canyon halted an Irvine Company developing 25 years ago.

The Laguna Canyon Conservancy marks the 25th anniversary of the Walk in the Canyon with a special presentation during its regular 6 p.m. meeting Monday, Nov. 3, at Tivoli Terrace, 650 Laguna Canyon Road.

One of the original organizers of the anti-development rally, Harry Huggins, will recount the successful efforts of diverse groups that included former Mayor Lida Lenney, Village Laguna and the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, which will be recognized for their participation.

Photographers Mark Chamberlain and Jerry Burchfield 25 years ago gathered support to build a collaborative art project constructed at Sycamore Flats, now the Jim Dilley Preserve, along Laguna Canyon Road. Using over 100,000 photographs donated by people throughout Orange County, the artists arranged them by color to draw pictures with the knowledge that over the summer the color photos would fade.

On Nov. 11, 1989, the Walk in the Canyon started at Irvine Bowl Park and ended at “The Tell,” as the art project was known, in Sycamore Flats. About 7,500 people made the trek, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. A direct result of the protest was the halt of Laguna Laurel, a planned development of 3,500 houses by the Irvine Company in the canyon. The city of Laguna Beach negotiated the purchase of the property and residents passed Measure H, a $20 million bond measure to fund the purchase with a nearly 80% yes vote.

Tickets to the celebration, $10 to conservancy members and $15 to the general public, are available by reservation. Contact Sharon Larimer 949-545-7669.


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