Candelaria Nature Preserve

Information about the 167-acre Candelaria Nature Preserve.

A Brief History of the Candelaria Nature Preserve

Sandhill Crane drawing

In 1977 the City of Albuquerque purchased approximately 167 acres in the north valley to create a nature preserve with an outdoor recreation component. The property was purchased with money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since the property's purchase, Candelaria Nature Preserve has been operated and maintained by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division and the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park as a part of a network of open spaces that:

  • Preserves and protects natural features and cultural resources,
  • Creates a sense of place for residents and visitors,
  • Provides educational and recreational opportunities, and;
  • Contributes to a network of Rio Grande migratory bird refuges along the Rio Grande.

Resource Management Plan Goals

The fundamental goals of this resource management plan include:

  • Comply with City Council requirements by:
    • Managing the property for its original dual purposes of a nature study area and wildlife preserve, while providing compatible public outdoor recreation opportunities,
    • Correcting issues of non-compliance with Land and Water Conservation Fund rules and policies,
    • Basing the Resource Management Plan primarily on the 1979 Predock Plan and drawing relevant information from other planning documents, and
    • Developing feasible alternatives that comply with City Council Resolution R-16-147 and LWCF regulations.

Related documents

View the 2021 crop plan.

Click here to view the latest version of the Candelaria Nature Preserve Resource Management Plan

View Soil Descriptions and Characteristics, and Groundwater Monitoring Details (Appendix B of Resource Management Plan)

View the Candelaria Nature Preserve habitat wetlands design developed in 2020 by Aquatic Consultants and Hydra Aquatics.

View the 2021 annual presentation to the Open Space Advisory Board.

Below are the documents for the September 11, 2019, public meeting:

Below is the panel presentation presented at the June 22nd, 2019, public meeting. The first panel includes wildlife habitat maps representing the existing conditions, transition plan, and 20 restored wildlife habitat plan. The second panel represent options for limited and increased public access and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Below are potential management alternatives prepared by SWCA and presented to the Technical Advisory Group during the April 11, 2019, meeting.

CNP 2020 Annual Presentation




Visit this page for a map of a compilation of some of the monitoring and research being done at Candelaria Nature Preserve. These include:

  • Photo points that provide a snapshot of a fixed location to identify changes over time.
  • Bosque Ecological Monitoring Program sites that collect data on vegetation cover, fuel load, and arthropods.
  • Vegetation transects and quadrats that measure vegetation cover and species
  • Seed bank analysis that shows the repository of dormant seeds within the soil that may have the potential to emerge.

Additional monitoring is done that is not illustrated on this map including soil analysis, fuel load assessments, aerial photography, citizen science data, and avian monitoring.

Public Outreach

Guided Public Information Tour

Last Friday of Every Month

10AM to Noon

Please join the Open Space Division for a monthly site visit to learn about the conservation and restoration work taking place. The tour will begin at the entry gate located at the end of Arbor Road.

Flyer for monthly guided public tours of the Candelaria Nature Preserve

Previous public engagement

Wildlife Viewing Areas Virtual Public Meetings

  • Stakeholder Interviews – November and December 2018
  • Public Meeting #1 – Goals Establishment – January 30, 2019 - Agenda, Meeting Presentation
  • Candelaria Nature Preserve Discovery Hikes – February, March 2019
  • Public Meeting #2 – Option Consideration – June 22, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at Woodward House.
    Download a flyer for the June 22 meeting
  • Public Meeting #3 – Preferred Option Consideration – Sept. 11, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Rio Grande Nature Center; Download a flyer for the September 11 meeting. Please note that anyone visiting the Rio Grande Nature Center must follow a detour around the construction at the intersection of Candelaria and Rio Grande Blvd. Candelaria and Rio Grande Closure Detour to Nature Center.jpg
  • The following documents were presented by the Technical Advisory Group at the public meetings: