Elena Gallegos Site Enhancements

Existing Structure Enhancements

Tucked in the foothills of the Cibola National Forest lies a 640-acre property known as the Elena Gallegos Open Space. This area, operated by the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department, is a jewel of the City and is frequented by locals and visitors throughout the year. In January 2020, the City contracted a local landscape architecture firm to conduct a feasibility study on site and infrastructure enhancements. The study identified areas of the Open Space that require improvement including existing structures, roadways, parking, boardwalks, facilities, and buildings in order to handle the existing visitation to the area. In addition, the study also examined the potential of adding an appropriately-sized education space that would tie into the existing infrastructure with minimal impact on the natural environment while offering a space for visitors, including groups of school children, to utilize.

Elena Gallegos Site Improvement Map

















Elena Gallegos Site Areas



Education Space

Sites for the 4800 square foot education space were evaluated using a complex scoring matrix that rated each location in terms of sustainability, accessibility, infrastructure connections, neighborhood impact, and overall footprint to the area. Similar to other Open Space education centers, the proposed addition would allow for school groups to participate in year-long learning, environmental education programs, and family-focused engagement.














Community Engagement

The City’s Open Space Division held several public meetings in an effort to gauge community-focused feedback. In 2021, a citizen advisory committee was formed that included open space volunteers, members from surrounding neighborhoods, and representatives from environmental organizations like The Wilderness Society. The team distributed a community survey to gather additional input and accepted verbal and written statements to garner additional public input on the findings of the feasibility study. In general, the public showed support for the proposed enhancement projects including the education center.


Next Steps

The feasibility study was the first step in identifying the immediate needs of the Open Space while exploring enhancements that can be incorporated to meet current visitation rates. Currently, there no budget or plan for the proposed enhancements. The Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with their Open Space Division is exploring additional community input sessions in the coming year. Those dates and times have not been set.

Click here to read the full feasibility study.


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