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Mayor Keller, Councilor Harris, Neighbors Celebrate Groundbreaking of Juan Tabo Hills Park

New 9-acre park will offer opportunities to play and relax for the whole family.

June 13, 2019

Mayor Tim Keller, City Councilor Don Harris, State Representative Abbas Akhil, and the Juan Tabo Hills neighborhood today celebrated the beginning of construction of the new Juan Tabo Hills Park. Phase 1 of construction of the 9-acre park is underway. Juan Tabo Hills Park will feature a new style of park design for the City of Albuquerque, featuring multiple-use areas and activities mixed together to provide an exciting place for the whole family to spend quality time.

“Juan Tabo Hills Park is destined to be a citywide attraction for Albuquerque families to play, relax, and enjoy for years to come,” stated Mayor Keller. “Our parks and open space system is nationally recognized for its quality and accessibility. Juan Tabo Hills will only add to that achievement, and continue to build toward our goal of bringing neighborhood parks within a 10-minute walk for most Albuquerque residents.”

“I’m excited to break ground on Juan Tabo Hills Park today because this recreational space is needed in this community,” stated Councilor Harris. “Also, this park will be highlighted throughout the entire Albuquerque area as it will have unique features unlike any other park we’ve built before.”

"The innovative design and unique features of Juan Tabo Hills Park ensure that it will be the pride of Albuquerque's parks system," said Rep. Abbas Akhil.  "The neighborhood has worked tirelessly to make it a reality, and I'm thrilled to be involved with such an exciting project for nearby residents and the entire city."

“Not only will Juan Tabo Hills and southeast Albuquerque neighborhoods love this park—all Burqueños will love this park,” stated Parks & Recreation Director Dave Simon. “This project is a community-driven effort, and we’re grateful to Councilor Harris, Representative Dines, and Representative Akhil for their support. Juan Tabo Hills Park will be a great place for kids and families for generations to come.”

The site for the park presented challenges that became opportunities to further build upon the success of nearby parks like Four Hills Village and Sandia Vista. In these parks, various use areas and activities offer ways for everyone to play, relax, and gather as a community.

The play area is designed as a series of nodes set into terraces built into the lower part of the hill. This arrangement takes advantage of the existing slopes in a way that encourages children to explore, to challenge themselves, and to experience nature. The play area will have exciting equipment, including a variety of climbers, swings, spinners, slides, and activity panels. It will also feature natural materials that allow children to experience the colors and textures of petrified wood climbers, stone steps, and a bamboo grove.

The park will also include a variety of group gathering spaces. A central plaza with a shade structure and tables is located in the lower part of the park. Groups can use this area for small parties and similar gatherings. A second large shade-sail structure creates a comfortable sitting space in the middle of the different play area nodes.

Additional features include small turf grass areas and shade trees interspersed between the plazas and play areas. A small parking lot will provide off-street parking and accessible spaces.

The current work is Phase 1 of the Master Plan and is expected to finish up by the end of the year. This phase will cost $1.2 million. Funding for the project includes monies secured by Councilor Harris in the G.O. Bond and his set-aside funding and also state capital outlay funding secured by Representatives Akhil and Dines.

Design for the park was completed by MRWM Landscape Architects, and Lee Landscapes will serve as the contractor. Future phases of the project are planned to incorporate trails leading to a small plaza on the top of the ridge, a long embankment slide down the hillside, connections to trails and Open Space, additional turf grass areas, and a dog park.

Photos from today’s groundbreaking are attached.