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Open Space Division Honored by USA Today

The Open Space Division of the Parks and Recreation Department and Nicodemus Wilderness Project Awarded $10,000

Open Space/Nicodemus Photo

The City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Open Space Division has been honored by USA Today Weekend for its ‘Make a Difference Day’ project; the announcement was made in the April 19, 2013 edition of the publication. In addition to the national recognition, the paper has announced a $10,000 accompanying prize. The Open Space Division has been organizing the volunteer clean-up at the Piedra Lisa Canyon Open Space (located in the Sandia Foothills, just south of the east end of Candelaria Boulevard) for 13 years cooperatively with The Nicodemus Wilderness Project -- a non-profit organization focusing on shaping future leaders through environmental stewardship.

Joint efforts between the Open Space Division and Nicodemus include: graffiti removal, trash and recycling cleanup, animal waste removal, native shrub planting, and trail building and maintenance. Highlights from this year’s event rendered 41 volunteers, 50 native shrubs planted, over 100 pounds of dog waste removed, and massive trail clean-up efforts and maintenance.

“Our community is a better place because of our Open Space Division, the Nicodemus Wilderness Project, and all volunteers who give so selflessly of their time, “ said Mayor Berry. “We owe them a great deal, and thank them for such great work.”

Open Space Division Superintendent Matt Schmader says the prize money will be donated to Nicodemus. “They are great partners, and deserve the recognition. I’m sure they will be pleased to have some additional funding.”

About the Piedra Lisa Canyon Open Space

Piedra Lisa means “smooth rock” in Spanish and refers to the cliff face worn smooth over time by water as it flows over the granite. This canyon contains a rare riparian environment on the west face of the Sandia Mountains. Sometimes the flow is only a trickle, but the presence of water gives life to cottonwoods, coyote willows, New Mexico Olives, and hackberry trees.