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City Makes Improvements at Vista del Norte Park in Time for Balloon Fiesta

First phase nearly doubles area of popular landing site for balloonists, recreational sports

Sept. 30, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller, Director Dave Simon, community leaders and members of the ballooning community came together to unveil the first phase of improvements to a popular northeast park, and together laid down the last bit of sod just in time for Balloon Fiesta. Vista del Norte Park, located on Osuna just west of I-25 now features a turf field that is nearly five acres in size, almost double the field’s original size, and an irrigation system to support the new field.

“Albuquerque ranks as having one of the best parks systems in the country,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are also one of the only places where you can watch a hot air balloon land, and a few minutes later – watch your child’s soccer game in the same City park. This investment into Vista del Norte Park is part of delivering on friendly-friendly spaces all across town.”

The initial phase of the project was made possible through capital outlay funding of $883,000 from area legislators. Pending additional funding from upcoming bond cycles, future phases will include nearly doubling the amount of parking spaces, restrooms near the existing field on the west side of the park, a dog park to the east, benches, picnic tables, shade structures, a perimeter trail and numerous trees and other plants.

“The key to creating great parks is catering to the many needs of the community,” said Dave Simon, Director of Parks and Recreation. “This first phase of improvements is just the start for Vista del Norte.”

“This park gets used daily throughout the year – from sports to family events and even as a landing site for hot air balloons,” said City Councilor Brook Bassan. “I am very excited that we are expanding this great park, and looking forward to moving onto the next phases of improvements.”

“It is so great to see capital outlay turn into a reality,” said Senator Bill O’Neill. “Thank you to the city staff, Mayor Keller and City Councilor Bassan for making this a priority.”

Throughout the year and especially during Balloon Fiesta, Vista del Norte Park serves as a popular landing spot for balloonists. As the new turf takes root, the City has asked for the ballooning community’s cooperation to ensure the new field is not damaged. Balloons are permitted to land on the new, east field, but crews are asked to carry their gondola and envelopes off the field and to their chase vehicles. This practice is known as ‘taxiing’. No vehicles will be permitted on the east half of the field. Guidelines for the west side of the field remain unchanged.

 

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