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Some Alternative Uses for Former Farmland

October 20, 2002

Re "Farmland Likely to Become Upscale Santa Ana Houses," Oct. 6:

When one of the last undisturbed parcels of local farmland is allocated for the bulldozer, you can be sure that the quest for 30 more pieces of silver is involved. But since the clan members involved already have incredible 401(k)s, why not leave something to the county that would perpetuate their name in a beloved rather than mercenary light and preserve a portion of Orange County history as well?

Rather than becoming yet another gated megaplex, the acreage could be turned into a children's farm experience, similar to the Dana Point shipboard program for school kids. At Segerstrom Farm, second- and third- graders could plant garden crops and learn about farm animals. Fourth- and fifth-graders could learn how to make adobe and pottery and learn other curriculum-appropriate lessons. A museum in the existing clapboard church would inform visitors about the area's progress from prime hunting territory to bucolic farmland to real estate profit, and ... oops. Well, scratch that. Bring on the bulldozers.

Janet Whitcomb

Rancho Santa Margarita

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