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ABQ BioPark Now Halfway Through GRT Funding Period

Report details major projects completed and in progress
August 07, 2023


Major transformations are underway at the ABQ BioPark, thanks to the 1/8 cent gross receipts tax (GRT), and those projects are featured in the annual report released today by the BioPark and Mayor Tim Keller. The GRT was approved by voters and went into effect in July 2016.

This year’s report highlights recently completed projects and projects in progress, and it outlines plans for future projects. In total, the BioPark spent $31.1 million of GRT funds for capital improvements, including repair and renovation.

The GRT most heavily impacted the Zoo, with two major construction projects underway: Asia and Australia. Asia is nearing completion and is expected to open this fall. The first phase of Australia will be complete in early 2024. Construction also began this past year on the renovation of the Heritage Farm at the Botanic Garden, scheduled to open in mid-2024.

In the last fiscal year, the GRT also funded the electric shuttle that carries passengers from the Zoo to the Aquarium and Garden and a new heated backstage pool for hippos.

Now halfway through the 15-year GRT funding period, the BioPark created a Facility Plan Update to reflect the evolving priorities of its community, plants and animals. The Facility Plan Update will guide the final years of the GRT, and the complete plan will be released in October

“This period of transformation funded by the GRT is incredibly exciting to watch,” said Brandon Gibson, deputy director of the Department of Arts & Culture. “We’re building best-in-class homes for animals, expanding the work we do to protect plants around the world, and investing in learning opportunities for our community.”

The BioPark GRT report also takes a look back at some of its major accomplishments. These include Penguin Chill at the Zoo, North American River Otters at the Aquarium, and renovations of the Butterfly Pavilion at the Botanic Garden. Click to read the full report: 2023 GRT Annual Report.