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Open Space Farmlands

Open Space Farmlands Candelaria Nature Preserve, Los Poblanos Fields Open Space, Hubbell Oxbow Farm, Alamo Farm, and Open Space Visitor Center Farm.

Farmland produces the food we eat, recharges our aquifer, provides habitat for wildlife, and presents us with beautiful living landscapes. Farmland connects us with our agricultural heritage, and through farming, allows us to connect to each other, the land, and the seasons. 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.

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.

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.

Current Status

The OSD currently contracts with three farmers at LPF including Rio Grande Community Farm, Rasband Dairy, and Bluefly Farms. Although each farmer has their own farming practices and techniques, they all work together to meet the needs of the community, preserve the land, and fulfill the mission of LPF.

Rio Grande Community Farm, RGCF, demonstrates sustainable urban agriculture, provides educational and volunteer opportunities, grows food for and with the community, and enhances the urban wildlife habitat. RGCF strives to “connect people, earth, water and wildlife” with the best practices of regenerative and sustainable urban agriculture. RGCF has enabled local growers and LPF to contribute to a resilient food system by leasing community garden rows to grow food and pollinator habitat. RGCF educational programs for a diverse group of multi-generation farmers has included Alvarado Elementary School, UNM, CNM, and Amy Biel Charter High school. The Farm Incubator Program allows independent farmers to gain knowledge and experience in regenerative farming by providing the land, equipment, and standardized farm training. RGCF also hosts year-round events including the annual Maize Maze and virtual Scavenger Hunt.

Rasband Dairy and Bluefly Farms plant crops such as sorghum, corn, wheat, oats, Dutch and New Zealand clover, sunflowers, and pollinator and wildflower to provide vital wildlife habitats for local species and migratory birds like sandhill cranes, making LPF an ideal location for bird watching and photography.

Visit the RGCF webpage to become a volunteer and for more information on education programs.

Mission Statement

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.

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

The farm itself is closed to the public as it is managed as a wildlife preserve.

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.