The public will be able to frolic in more portions of the East Open Space by next spring.
The City Council has given marching orders that will see the installation a water line for landscaping, the addition of benches and planting of 218 Valencia orange trees. The city will also host a community-wide contest to officially name the area known now as the lemon grove.
Using bond proceeds, the city closed escrow in January 2010 on the 132 acres known as the East Open Space. The property was acquired from Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC, Orange County developers and the owners and managers of the 23,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo cattle ranch.
The acquisition protects the land from development, as the purchase agreement designates it strictly for recreational, agricultural and equestrian uses.
The swath includes the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park and an old lemon grove. It's the 18-acre lemon grove at Reata Road and Ortega Highway that the City Council wants the community to be able to use by springtime.
"I want it usable by next spring," Councilman Larry Kramer said Tuesday.
Later to come will be the addition of trails, fountains and horse troughs.