Candelaria Nature Preserve

Information about the 167-acre Candelaria Nature Preserve.

Tree Nursery Tract

The City and MRWM Landscape Architects presented the final proposed Rio Grande Tree Nursery Site Plan virtually to the general public on May 4th. Presentation materials can be viewed below:

The City and MRWM Landscape Architects presented two refined alternatives to the neighboring community on March 30th. Presentation materials can be viewed below:

The City and MRWM Landscape Architects conducted site visits with the neighboring community. Based on those meetings, they presented five design concepts on February 3rd. Presentation materials can be viewed below:

Monthly Hikes

Unless otherwise noted, guided tours will be offered at Candelaria Nature Preserve the last Friday of every month.

Come explore the Candelaria Nature Preserve where wildlife abounds and a major restoration effort is underway to convert farm fields to a mosaic of wildlife habitat. This free monthly tour is led by staff and volunteer experts. Tour begins at entry gate located at the west-end of Arbor Road, west of Rio Grande Blvd. Please dress for a walk on rough terrain and bring water. There are no restroom or drinking water facilities available on site.

Hikes are free but registration is required. To sign up for this tour or for information about other educational events visit

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 final adopted Candelaria Nature Preserve Resource Management Plan and the City Council adopting legislation.

View the 2022 crop plan.

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

View the 2021 crop 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 2020 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

Rio Grande Tree Nursery Meeting

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

5:30 pm

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Meeting ID: 844 7957 2680

Passcode: 275934

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Guided Public Information Tour

Last Friday of Every Month

10AM to Noon

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: