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Candelaria Nature Preserve

Information about the 167-acre Candelaria Nature Preserve.

A Brief History of the Candelaria Nature Preserve Sandhill Crane drawing

In 1977 the City of Albuquerque purchased approximately 167 acres in the north valley to create a nature preserve with an outdoor recreation component. The property was purchased with money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since the property’s purchase, Candelaria Nature Preserve has been operated and maintained by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division and the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park as a part of a network of open spaces that:

  • Preserves and protects natural features and cultural resources,
  • Creates a sense of place for residents and visitors,
  • Provides educational and recreational opportunities, and;
  • Contributes to a network of Rio Grande migratory bird refuges along the Rio Grande.

The City of Albuquerque is in the process of creating a resource management plan for the 167-acre Candelaria Nature Preserve located right in the middle of the city, and we are asking for your input!

The fundamental goals of this resource management plan include:

  • Comply with City Council requirements by:
    • Managing the property for its original dual purposes of a nature study area and wildlife preserve, while providing compatible public outdoor recreation opportunities,
    • Correcting issues of non-compliance with Land and Water Conservation Fund rules and policies,
    • Basing the Resource Management Plan primarily on the 1979 Predock Plan and drawing relevant information from other planning documents, and
    • Developing feasible alternatives that comply with City Council Resolution R-16-147 and LWCF regulations.

How can you get involved?

  • Attend meetings of the Technical Advisory Group. Unless otherwise stated, all meetings take place at the Rio Grande Nature Center in the Education Building, 2:30 - 4:30 pm:
    • April 11th
    • April 29th (please note, this will take place at 10:00am at the Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors Blvd NW)
    • May 9th
    • August 15th
    • To view previous minutes and agendas, visit the Open Space Advisory Board page.
  • Bookmark this page to get the latest information on upcoming public meetings and discovery hikes in 2019.
  • Email [email protected]. We would like to hear your thoughts on the following questions:
    • What is the importance of the Candelaria Nature Preserve?
    • What management strategies do you suggest?
    • What do you think Candelaria Nature Preserve should look like in ten years, twenty years, and beyond?
    • Who else should we interview or involve in the planning process?
  • We would like to hear your thoughts on following issues:
    • Farming for Wildlife Management
    • Water Management and Water Rights
    • Native and Invasive Species Management
    • Outdoor Recreation and Preservation of Habitat
    • Climate Resilience
    • Funding and Phasing for Management Transitions
    • Habitat that improves biological diversity

Download a flier for this effort in PDF format.

Below are a presentation and potential management alternatives prepared by SWCA:

Public Outreach Schedule

  • Stakeholder Interviews – November and December 2018
  • Public Meeting #1 – Goals Establishment – January 30, 2019 - Agenda, Meeting Presentation
  • Candelaria Nature Preserve Discovery Hikes – February, March 2019
    • Click on the link below for your preferred time and location. It will direct you to the City's event registration website ( Add the item to your cart, and the site will ask you to login or register for an account. Please follow the prompts to complete the registration process. If you experience any difficulties registering for the hike of your choice, please call Kim Selving at 505-452-5202.
    • Candelaria Nature Preserve - North (Beginning at the Woodward House)
    • Candelaria Nature Preserve - South (Beginning at the Rio Grande Nature Center parking lot)
    • ***CONSTRUCTION NOTICE*** - Please note that the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority will begin construction beginning February 22, 2019 that will affect the intersection of Rio Grande and Candelaria. Travel to, from, and around the Candelaria Nature Preserve will be affected. For more information including detour information, please click here.
  • Public Meeting #2 – Option Consideration – June 22, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at Woodward House
  • Public Meeting #3 – Preferred Option Consideration – September 11, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Rio Grande Nature Center