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Mayor Keller and Community Leaders Celebrate Acquisition of Poole Property

The 23-acre site will add to City’s Open Space Program, preserve a delicate habitat

Today, Mayor Tim Keller was joined by City, County and State officials to announce the official acquisition of the ‘Poole Property’ by the City of Albuquerque. The 23-acre site, adjacent to the San Antonio Oxbow, was previously slated for real estate development. Now, the land will be managed by the Parks and Recreation Department’s Open Space Division, preserving the area’s natural and cultural resources for the entire community.

“We heard the outpouring of concern over this proposed development, and we weren’t going to accept roadblocks when it came to saving this land from imminent development. Today, we’re grateful to make our vision a reality for every Burqueño to enjoy,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This deal is about more than land acquisition - it is a big day for folks all over Albuquerque who enjoy our world-class Open Space system, ecological preservation, and the unrivaled health and beauty of our city.”

The City struck a deal with the property owner to purchase the land for $6.7 million dollars. Funding for the acquisition came from $4.6 million allocated by the State of New Mexico, $2 million in City funds, and $100,000 in County funding.

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“This has been one of my top priorities, and I am excited to see it become a reality today,” said State Senator Jacob Candelaria. “This land will improve the quality of life for Albuquerque’s Westside residents for generations to come, and provide a destination for those from around the country.”

“This is a great day for the Westside and Albuquerque. This lookout spot will now remain public and open for people and wildlife to enjoy forever, said State Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas.

“Thanks to the many neighborhood advocates in our community, this unique and sensitive section of our living river will remain intact and protected,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner, Debbie O’Malley.

The City of Albuquerque is already a national leader in civic open space, with over 23% of land within city limits protected – more than 29,000 acres – almost twice the national median of just 15%. The Poole Property sits adjacent to the San Antonio Oxbow, the only remaining river-connected wetlands on the Rio Grande between Bernalillo and Bernardo. It will connect with the City’s existing San Antonio Overlook Open Space, and provide a buffer habitat and increased ecological diversity for the area.

“This would not have been possible without the community, “said City Councilor Lan Sena. “Today we have come full circle with the long-awaited acquisition of this land that is so critical to the residents of the Westside and to this delicate ecological region. This property has been important to many people for years, and now it will be preserved for many generations.”

“Open Space enhances the quality of life for all citizens of Albuquerque and preserves natural habitats essential to healthy and sustainable eco-systems for our City’s future generations,” said City Councilor President Cynthia Borrego.  “Councilor Lan Sena and I co-sponsored Resolution 21-134 placing the Poole property on the City’s Future Open Space Land Acquisitions List.  Additionally, I dedicated $50,000 of District 5 set-aside to the purchase of the riparian rich Poole Property.  We, as your local government, believe in the value of urban open space.”

“The Poole Property has countless cultural and ecological values that will forever remain tied to this land. It was just too important not to save,” said Dr. Susan Chaudoir, environmental advocate who spoke at today’s press conference. “We have a lot of valuable history on the Westside which is worth preserving, and this won’t be our last effort.

Over the next year, the City plans to identify the next steps in opening the property for public use, which will be dependent on future funding for general site improvements, planning and design, development and facilities. Limited guided tours of the site may be offered.