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Bear Canyon a Model Senior Center

Bear Canyon Senior Center Recognized for Outstanding Service to Community and Received National Accreditation.

August 26, 2014

Unanimously Approved

The National Council On Aging (NCOA)/National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) Accreditation Board met on July 10, 2014 and unanimously approved the recommendation for accreditation of the Bear Canyon Senior Center.

Barelas Senior Center, Bear Canyon Senior Center, Highland Senior Center, and North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center all received the official confirmation of national accreditation for a period of five years (July 10, 2014 – July 10, 2019).  This intense process began in November 2012 with the cooperation of a diverse group of people and organizations.

Visit the Bear Canyon Senior Center at 4645 Pitt NE or online at:

Hours of Operation

  • 8AM - 5PM Monday - Friday
  • 9AM - 3PM Saturday

Nine Standards

The centers were required to meet nine standards set by the NISC.  These standards include:

  1. Purpose & Planning
  2. Community Connections
  3. Governance
  4. Administration & Human Resources
  5. Program Development & Implementation
  6. Evaluation
  7. Fiscal and Asset Responsibility
  8. Records and Reports
  9. Facility and Operations

Highlights from Bear Canyon

Some of the strengths that were observed by the Peer Reviewer included:

  • Strong, experienced, dedicated center manager who has a good rapport with her staff and seniors.
  • Friends of Bear Canyon are an enthusiastic, dedicated group of 24 people motivated raising funds to make sure Bear Canyon has the essential supplies (i.e. playing cards, pool cues, window treatments, new piano, etc.).
  • Excellent use of Oso Beautiful mascot and Bear Canyon logo within the building.
  • Bear Canyon website is easy to navigate and up-to-date.  An asset in an emerging technology with a savvy senior population.
  • The Center is closed twice yearly for a week at a time for a thorough cleaning and team building of center staff. This gives the center time to touch up and refresh spaces in addition to giving the staff time to plan, organize and draft future center opportunities.
  • The City of Albuquerque creates a ‘Decade Plan’ to ensure capital improvements are worked into the budgets for senior center upkeep/enhancement/repair. It is evaluated every two years. Senior Affiars has never had a bond process fail.

Outstanding Staff & A Model Center

Successfully achieving accreditation status takes the work of many people both in the senior center and in the community.  When these two groups work together the rewards will be felt for many years to come.  The City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs has been acknowledged for demonstrating outstanding leadership and commitment to quality programs and services.

Bear Canyon Senior Center is on the list of more than 120 senior centers who meet the standards as developed by NISC.  These are centers that are held up as models for others to follow.