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Parks & Recreation Wins Grant to Help Improve Access to City Parks

Albuquerque one of only 10 cities to win grant funding

The City of Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Department won a $40,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to help with planning efforts to improve access to City parks. The funding will support Mayor Tim Keller’s initiative to increase access to high-quality parks within a 10-minute walk of home.

“Every Burqueño deserves access to a high-quality park, and we are always looking for ways to improve the quality of and access to these places in our city,” stated Mayor Keller. “This grant gives valuable momentum for ongoing efforts to make sure everyone can enjoy our parks and open spaces.”

“The City of Albuquerque has a nationally-recognized parks and open space system,” stated Dave Simon, Director of Parks and Recreation. “We appreciate the support from NRPA and will put these funds to work for our city.”

The grant funding is given in coordination with 10 Minute Walk — a campaign dedicated to improving access to parks and green spaces while positively transforming communities. NRPA, along with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) are working together to ensure everyone has safe access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home.

In 2018, Mayor Keller joined a coalition of mayors across the country to work toward ensuring that every Albuquerque resident lives within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of a high-quality park or green space. Since then, the Parks and Recreation Department has acquired nearly 40 acres of Open Space in the Tijeras Arroyo and opened the Anderson Heights Park in southwest Albuquerque. The Department is also in the midst of constructing Memorial Park on the west side and Juan Tabo Hills Park in southeast Albuquerque.

The Parks and Recreation Department is also exploring other innovative options to improve access to already existing parks and Open Space, such as creating new access points and potentially building new infrastructure to shorten the distance it currently takes some residents to travel to a park or Open Space property.

In addition to the grant funding, the Parks and Recreation Department will also receive ongoing technical assistance, professional development, and access to networks of like-minded park and recreation professionals throughout the country.