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El Oso Grande Park Gets Upgraded Irrigation System, New Landscaping

Upgrades improve sustainability and beautification of popular NE Heights park

The City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department recently completed a nearly $380,000 upgrade to El Oso Grande Park in Albuquerque’s northeast heights, including a complete renovation of the park’s 30-year old irrigation system and the planting of more than 100 new trees and shrubs.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen Burqueños take to our parks and trails in large numbers,” stated Mayor Keller. “These improvements at El Oso Grande Park, and many other park improvement projects taking place around the City, will make our park system even better for our families.”

“Maintaining our parks and updating their aging irrigation systems has been one of my priorities for our District 8 parks,” said City Councilor Trudy Jones. “It’s also important to replenish our trees as Albuquerque has lost nearly 3 percent of its tree canopy in the past few years. These improvements will not only reduce our water usage but improve the park experience.”

Much of the work completed at El Oso Grande Park focused on upgrading a 30-year old irrigation system. The system was outdated and inefficient; old pipes were also prone to break and cause other maintenance issues. The entire mainline, irrigation valves, wiring, and irrigation controller were replaced. The irrigation mainline was replaced with durable, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. The new controller now has built-in cell phone based communication to the City’s Irrigation Central Control. From Central Control, the irrigation can be monitored, scheduled, and checked for line breaks and malfunctions. Additionally, all 185 sprinkler heads were replaced with new efficient sprinkler heads that will provide maximum distribution uniformity throughout the park. This will help establish the healthiest turf with the least amount of water.

Other upgrades include planting 58 trees, 33 large shrubs, and 24 small shrubs. The playground surfacing was also upgraded from sand to engineered wood fiber.

The total cost of the project was $378,849, which was funded by $240,190 from Councilor Jones’ set-aside from General Obligation Bonds and $138,659 from other General Obligation bond funds. Councilor Jones also supported design for the project with an investment of $47,143. MRWM Landscape Architects designed the project and Lee Landscapes completed the construction.