New plan will guide future of most-visited destination in New Mexico
October 17, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today Mayor Richard J. Berry announced that the ABQ BioPark has started an important master plan process that will guide the future of the BioPark’s four attractions—the Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden and Tingley Beach. The nine-month planning process will result in a plan that will shape the facilities’ maintenance and growth during the next twenty years.
"The ABQ BioPark is the crown jewel of our state and city," said Mayor Berry. "We want to take the facility forward so that next generations can enjoy the BioPark, and the master plan will help us do this."
Creating a new master plan was a recommendation set forth by a task force assembled by Mayor Berry in 2011 to assess the BioPark's future needs and the effectiveness of its current construction and maintenance program. While the complete master plan will include plans for new exhibits and creating an enhanced visitor experience, it will also include a plan for reducing overall maintenance costs for the entire BioPark. The plan will also provide ways for the BioPark to highlight and enhance its conservation, education and research programs.
NCA Architects and Jones and Jones Architects are leading the master plan process. NCA Architects is an Albuquerque-based company and Jones and Jones Architects is based in Seattle, WA. In the coming days and months, NCA and Jones and Jones representatives will interview City of Albuquerque and BioPark staff. They will also meet with representatives of the New Mexico BioPark Society and will have conversations with Albuquerque City Councilors.
There will also be public meetings at the BioPark so that members of the public can share their thoughts and ideas on the BioPark’s future and the master plan process. The first of these meetings will be scheduled in January or February.
"With the master plan, we will ensure that the BioPark will remain a viable, exciting and affordable treasure in our community," said Mayor Berry.
The ABQ BioPark Zoo is 86 years old has not had a master plan since the 1970s. The Aquarium and Botanic Garden were opened about 17 years ago and have not been under a plan since the early 1990s. The BioPark consists of more than 95 buildings—some of which are more than 50 years old—and exhibits on 110 acres. As the state’s most visited tourist attraction, the Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden welcome more than 1.2 million visitors annually. In addition, Tingley Beach sees an estimated 300,000 visitors each year.