Read the Open Space Newsletter
Spring is a busy time in Open Space. We welcome volunteer support as the weather warms and we prepare for summer. I will give you some headlines of ways you can participate. Don’t forget that the Open Space Alliance rewards volunteers with food and prizes at our cleanup projects. Bring the whole family to these exciting events!
In the spring of 2011 the City of Albuquerque’s Open Space Division (OSD) submitted a project to the “International Awards for Liveable Communities” (LivCom Awards) in Berkshire, England. Albuquerque’s submission was “Glass Gardens” Environmental Restoration and Habitat Enhancement. This year the LivCom Awards committee announced that the City of Albuquerque was one of only a few cities in the United States chosen as a ﬁ nalist for the Project Awards. Congratulations are due to the City’s Open Space Division for receiving this important recognition.
This year the Open Space Alliance announces a new Board of Directors. They are: President – Sallie McCarthy; Vice-President – Jack Clifford; Secretary – Steve Glass; and Treasurer – Elizabeth Young. I want to thank Steven Hamp for his years of service as President, and we are grateful that he will continue to serve on the board. The board meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m. at the Open Space Visitor Center. We welcome your attendance anytime
After the cold of winter passes and the temperatures slowly increase, so too does the visitation to the City of Albuquerque’s vast Open Space Network. Every year hundreds of volunteers come out to do much-needed work to spruce up the City’s Open Space properties for the summer. The dedication and enthusiasm that these volunteers bring when doing their part to beautify our city never ceases to amaze me.
As of April we’ve ofﬁ cially kicked off our volunteer event season with the month-long Sandia Foothills Open Space Clean Ups! After April, throughout the spring and summer you can get out and help the Open Space Division and enjoy the warm weather at the same time.
The City of Albuquerque’s Open Space Division is proud to announce the opening of its newest bike trail! Take a ride or a stroll on a new addition to the West Mesa trails network. The Paseo de la Mesa Trail runs from 81st Street (near to the Volcano Cliffs water tanks) up and west almost to Paseo de Volcan.
As summer approaches we look forward to a prosperous monsoon season. The year started with several storms with the help of the El Niño cycle. Wildﬂ owers have been in bloom, insects and reptiles are on the move, and larger mammals can be seen as you hike and explore our wonderful Open Space lands.
In April, the Sandia Foothills Open Space cleanup will kick-off another year of outdoor volunteerism. There is a contagious enthusiasm when you gather early on a Saturday morning with neighbors and fellow trail users to work on projects that will benefit our Major Public Open Space areas.
Greetings from the Mayor’s Office! It is an honor to serve you as Mayor of the great city of Albuquerque, home to one of the best Open Space systems in the country and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Our family is very active in outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing, and we’re so happy that the Open Space Division is here to offer over 29,000 acres of land for our community’s enjoyment.
A score and five years ago, our city fathers brought forth a new division conceived for everybody and dedicated to the proposition that not all land is created equal. At that time our community was engaged in a great struggle to prevent the loss of its character to the wrecking ball or the bulldozer blade. And while there have been setbacks, the victories were greater and the result has been beyond impressive.
Summer is in full swing and visitation to Open Space lands is at an all time high. Not only does the warmer weather increase visitation to Open Space properties, it also brings out the spirit of volunteerism in people as well.
While hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding on one of the numerous trails of the Sandia Foothills Open Space, it’s easy to forget that this beautiful landscape looked quite different in the early days of the Open Space Division.
In 1984, a new Division was formed within the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Known as the Open Space Division, its employees were charged with the responsibility of protecting and managing environmentally and culturally significant lands in and around the City of Albuquerque.
The Open Space Alliance is proud to be the host for the City of Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center’s 3rd Annual Open Space: A View with Room. This fantastic art show runs through December 11th. All of the art work in the show depicts the many lands being preserved as part of the City of Albuquerque’s Open Space System. The paintings primarily highlight and bring into focus the variety of spaces that are available in the city of Albuquerque.
This spring and summer the Open Space Division hosted three highly successful annual volunteer events that helped to preserve our precious natural resources and public lands. The Spring Cleanups in the Sandia Foothills, National River Cleanup, and National Trails Day each received some of the highest volunteer turnouts we’ve seen for these events since their inception.
I was fortunate enough to get an interview with Bob Burgan on September 13, 2007. Burgan, 89, was the first director of the Parks Department when it was formed in 1954. Our talk took place in his living room as movers packed boxes. The next day he left Albuquerque after living here for 60+ years and moved to Ogden, Utah. – M.S.
As I look back on 2007, it’s been one fantastic year. The Alliance continues to be a dedicated advocate for Albuquerque open space, and there have been many accomplishments throughout the year. These successes are attributable to the strong support that was achieved from Open Space Alliance (OSA) members, trail watch volunteers, and the Albuquerque Open Space Division
The hot days of summer are coming to an end. Cottonwood trees will soon turn golden and flutter in gently blowing breezes. Fall means harvesting summer's gift of green chiles and other New Mexican specialty crops grown with acequia waters. The cool morning air also reminds Albuquerque residents that the colorful hot air ballons will soon fill the skies above the Rio Grande Valley and surrounding Mesas.
I am a paper cup. I was very useful once, but when I was no longer needed, I was discarded. Not put into a bag with other used items I was merely pitched into the Rio Grande River, just north of the Bosque where I began my lonely and rather hazardous journey. Sink or Swim!
I found myself one day in the Bosque (riverside forest) in the dead of winter. The leafless Cottonwoods appeared restful and barren as they store up the energy to transform themselves in the coming spring,
Within Tijeras Canyon exists a crossroads. Not just one for steel and rubber, but one for hoofs and fur. Tijeras Canyon has also been known as one of the worst places in the country for road kill.
Artists have always been inspired by the beauty of nature, and with over 28,000 acres of protected Open Space lands in and around Albuquerque, there ís plenty to be inspired about.
As daylight lengthens, thereís restlessness in the air. After the short days of winter, people look forward to being outside, and to the harbingers of spring. Birds that had disappeared at the end of last yearís nesting season begin to reappear.
We watched as a small group of sandhill cranes slowly circled overhead, spiraling downward with wings extended. One crane called out, as if giving directions to the others. Soon, more cranes joined the chorus, their ìgaroo-a-a-aî calls trumpeting all around us.
At the end of last year the Open Space Police (OSP) were absorbed into the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). As a special unit in APD administered by Captain Mike Castro and Lieutenant Ruben Griego, the Open Space Police continue patrolling and responding to calls affecting Open Space properties and facilities.
There is a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the Pueblo Montano fire that took place two years ago, but in the shape of an eagle. Chainsaw artist Mark Chavez, one of the firefighters who helped put out that fire in the bosque, seemed to be an imminently appropriate choice to carve sculptures into the standing dead cottonwood trees at the trailhead.
This March, Resource Management plans for four Open Space properties located in the East Mountain area were approved by the Bernalillo County Commission. The approved plans were for cityowned properties at Tres Pistolas, Juan Tomas, San Antonito, and Gutierrez Canyon.
On one fall Trail Watch walk, the sound of a tractor was heard in the Bosque on the West Side north of Montano. Following it to its source, goat herder Ray Thornberg was seen riding his tractor as he pulled a trailer filled with fencing materials from one place to another. The goat herd of 450 was nearby, busily grooming the Bosque of invasive plants.
For fifty years Albuquerque's Parks and Recreation Department has flourished. As the sleepy little town of 50,000 residents of the 1940's doubled its size by the early 1950's, the need for leadership to direct the growth of our parks was apparent. Under the five member City Commission, several community organizations petitioned for a government entity to direct the future of the boomtown's green space.
Celebrating the City Open Space Division’s Outstanding Volunteers, A Message from Mayor Richard J. Berry.
The City of Albuquerque Open Space Division received news from USA Weekend Magazine that its Make a Difference Day project for 2012 has been chosen for a City Award.