Construction underway at popular park
Ed Leslie Park in Northeast Albuquerque will soon have a new face for park users – complete with new shade structures, play equipment, and a completely renovated irrigation system. The east side of the park will feature a new play area in approximately the same location, size and shape of the existing play area. The equipment, surfacing, and access will all be new and meet current codes and design standards. The west side of the park will include a pergola type shade structure with built-in seating. Both sides of the park will include new accessible sidewalks and internal paths; decorative fencing will be installed along the roadways to protect park users from busy traffic.
The entire irrigation system will be renovated to meet and exceed current standards for efficiency. The design uses state-of-the-art equipment and layout to reduce water use. Watering heads will be set back from the edges of the park to eliminate run-off and overspray; specially designed French drains will capture any potential run-off and allow it to infiltrate.
A significant aspect of the renovation is the reestablishment of the tree canopy. Both sides will be heavily planted with a variety of tree species, both within the turf areas and along the roadways. New accent shrubs will be planted throughout the non-turf areas of the park to establish a vegetated understory and enhance the aesthetic character. Turf grass will be removed from the edges and steep slopes of the park.
These strategies not only bring the park into compliance with City ordinance, but reduce water use and maintenance on these difficult areas.
During the planning stages of this renovation, the Parks and Recreation Design Team and the construction manager identified two cottonwood trees on the east side of the park in a serious state of decline. The two trees have noticeable die-back and the surface roots have been damaged over their nearly 40 years of service at the park. Based on a consensus of the entire design and construction team, the decision has been made – reluctantly - to remove the two cottonwood trees for safety reasons. The park renovation plan calls for the replacement of the two cottonwoods with London Plane Trees, a species that will have a much larger canopy and a deeper rooting habit. In addition, one plum tree will be removed in order to make room for a more robust species.
The design carefully maintains the existing elements that define the character of the park. The rolling green hills, mature trees, internal pathways, and play area are key features of the renovation. The end result will be a park that exceeds all current standards for safety, accessibility, and irrigation efficiency without losing its unique identity.
Questions? Please contact David Flores, Principal Project Coordinator (Parks and Recreation), at 768-5379.