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Open Space Farmlands

This page provides information about farmlands owned by the city Open Space Division, and the farmers we contract with to manage the lands. They agricultural lands include the Candelaria Nature Preserve, Los Poblanos Fields Open Space, Hubbell Oxbow Farm, Alamo Farm, and Open Space Visitor Center Farm.

Farmland throughout the Albuquerque valley- and those who steward it, produces the food we eat, recharges our aquifer, provides habitat for wildlife, and presents us with beautiful living landscapes. As development spreads across the Middle Rio Grande valley, our farmland treasures are vanishing. To preserve this dwindling resource, the City of Albuquerque has acquired five farms to manage as Major Public Open Space. Open Space Farmlands provide us with unique opportunities to enjoy farming and farm landscapes, educational activities, wildlife, recreation and special events.

The properties include the Hubbell/Oxbow farm, Los Poblanos Fields (LPF), Alamo Farm, and the farm at the Open Space Visitor Center (OSVC). The farm lands are managed with the goals of preserving agricultural tradition in the Rio Grande Valley, providing forage and habitat for wildlife, and establishing low-impact recreational opportunities. To accomplish this, we contract with farmers to manage these public spaces while also growing their own varieties of agricultural crops. Farmers achieve their goals using a variety of techniques, while fulfilling the mission of the Open Space agricultural program to provide mixed-use public lands. The farmers at LPF and the OSVC also facilitate complementary activities such as community gardens, education programs, and special events.

Meet the Farmers:

Jim Roberts (Hubbell/Oxbow farm) is the sole contractor at Hubbell/Oxbow farm and has farmed for the Open Space Division for over 15 years, and during his years with us he has maintained the farm using dynamic farming techniques. Jim grew up farming in the South Valley with his family since childhood, and is compassionate about preserving agricultural lands.  

Chris Gallegos (Alamo Farm) is the sole contractor at Alamo Farm; he brings experience from a multi-generational agricultural family who farmed throughout the North Valley of Albuquerque since the 70s. He is excited about helping preserve agriculture in the valet and stewarding the land to meet OSD goals.

Peter Callen (Open Space Visitor Center) co-manager of Habitat Farms Collective, has worked with the City of ABQ Open Space Visitor Center staff for the past 5 years on the management of Field 1 at the OSVC, also known as the “Common Edge Habitat Field”. Together with his team, they have bolstered a thriving wildlife habitat using regenerative farming practices and soil building.

Scott Rasband (Los Poblanos Fields Open Space), of the local Rasband Dairy family, has farmed for the Open Space Division for over 10 years. He continues to demonstrate reliable farming operations that support the OSD’s vision. Scott has established partnerships with surrounding farmers and the community and works with RGCF to host their annual corn maze every fall.

Jacobo Sanchez (Los Poblanos Fields Open Space, Open Space Visitor Center) of Southwest Soil Health, LLC, has many years’ experience farming throughout New Mexico, including in Peñasco, Peña Blanca, Valencia County and most recently the Village of Los Ranchos. All of Southwest Soil Health’s operations support education, soil health, and sustainable farming objectives. Together with the OSD staff and partners, he will implement ongoing education workshops about farming and conservation agriculture practices as he has successfully done for the Village of Los Ranchos.

Rio Grande Community Farm (Los Poblanos Fields Open Space)is a non-profit organization that has been a part of the community for nearly 25 years. Their farming demonstrates sustainable urban agriculture, provides educational and volunteer opportunities, grows food for and with the community, and enhances the urban wildlife habitat. They strive to “connect people, earth, water and wildlife” with the best practices of regenerative and sustainable urban agriculture. RGCF aims to contribute to a resilient local food system by leasing community garden rows to grow food and pollinator habitats, and provide an array of educational programs for a diverse group of multi-generation farmers.They also offer the Farm Incubator Program, which allows independent farmers to gain knowledge and experience in regenerative farming. They provide small portions of land at a low-cost, equipment, and professional development opportunities. More information is available on their website https://riograndefarm.org.

Candelaria Nature Preserve

In 1977, the City of Albuquerque's Open Space Division acquired its first piece of farmland, the 97-acre Candelaria Farm. This farm is located on the north side of the Rio Grande Nature Center. After a multi-year, intensive public input planning process, a Resource Management Plan was developed and approved by City Council to transition Candelaria Farms into Candelaria Nature Preserve. Please visit the Candelaria Nature Preserve page to learn more.

Los Poblanos Fields Open Space

Los Poblanos Fields Open Space (LPF) is one of the largest remaining agricultural properties in Albuquerque’s North Valley. The 138-acre farm was purchased by the City of Albuquerque in 1997 through a temporary ¼ cent gross receipts tax, and since then has been designated as Major Public Open Space managed by the Open Space Division. The farm is considered one of the oldest parcels of farmland due to its long-standing history of being one of the earliest Spanish Colonial settlements in the Rio Grande Valley. The Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, and the State of New Mexico also contributed funds for the acquisition of this land. The City annexed the lower 48 acres while the upper 90 acres of the property are within the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. To begin the process for booking an event at Los Poblanos Fields please call 311. You will need information on Albuquerque OSD rules and regulations, the procedures for booking at Los Poblanos Fields, and a special use permit.

Community Garden Rows Access

The farm is open to the public to enjoy wildlife viewing, picnicking walking, jogging, bicycling, and horseback riding. Vehicle access is west of 4th St on Montaño Rd. and north on Tierra Viva Rd. Parking is available in the gravel lot on the west side of Tierra Viva Rd. There is also parking nearby the garden rows on the far North-East end of LPF, off Solar Rd and Nabor Rd (towards the West end of Alvarado Elementary School).

Mission Statement of Los Poblanos Fields

To maintain, protect, and preserve this land as agricultural Open Space and wildlife habitat, thereby providing recreational and educational opportunities to the community with the least impact to the environment. Over the years the land has been maintained and transformed into wildlife habitat, community gardens and some organic fields, while offering educational programs and activities, low-impact recreation, nature viewing and community service projects.  These management techniques follow the primary goal set by the Los Poblanos Fields Resource Management Plan; “to maintain agriculture as the primary use of the property, and provide compatible wildlife habitat areas, public use programs and visitor facilities, while preserving archaeological resources and minimizing impact on adjacent properties and viewsheds.”  In order to ensure compatibility between uses, the Open Space Division has developed a system of adaptive management, by monitoring and evaluating farm resources, wildlife, visitor facilities, and public use.

This is a poster of the crops being grown throughout the Los Poblanos fields. On the left is a diagram highlighting each field and whether the farmer is growing agricultural crops, wildlife crops, or a combination of both. The right side of the poster specifies which farmers are growing what.

An alt. text version of the crop plan is available by clicking here.

Hubbell Oxbow Farm

The property does not offer formal access; however, AMAFCA has proposed an expansion to the adjacent Hubbell Dam to improve flood control capacity for the greater Albuquerque area, and additional infrastructure and improved recreation and public access are proposed for the farm site. Open Space and AMAFCA are soliciting community input via an online survey. Click here to view a presentation on the proposal.

The Hubbell Oxbow Farm is an 87-acre parcel of South Valley farmland. The property, located just outside the Albuquerque City limits, is bordered by Coors Blvd on the east, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) detention basin on the west and south, and Rio Bravo Blvd on the north. The Open Space Division contracts a local farmer to keep the land in agricultural production.

Map of Hubbell Dam and Hubbell Oxbow Farm proposed project area

Alamo Farm

The property is not currently open to the general public to protect wildlife habitat. However, the farm can be viewed from the parking lot for the paved trail along Paseo Del Norte.The City acquired this 20-acre North Valley farm as Open Space in 1998. On this property, the Open Space Division preserves a cottonwood bosque and farms a portion of the land for wildlife crops. In the future, this Open Space may provide formalized pedestrian and equestrian access to trails in the Rio Grande Valley State Park.

Open Space Visitor Center Farm

One of the best places for watching Sandhill Cranes is the Open Space Visitor Center, located adjacent to a 24-acre farm managed by the Open Space Division for wildlife. Since its official opening in 2006, the Visitor Center has become a haven for wildlife photographers, as it allows for unique views of Sandhill Cranes and other bird species, with the spectacular backdrops of the Sandia Mountains and the Cottonwood forests of the Rio Grande. The actual farm fields are closed to the public because they are managed as a wildlife preserve.