In 1999, when Commissioner De La Cruz was the director of the Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation Department, he was instrumental in the county’s purchase of the 19 acre Pajarito Open Space property.
After election as a commissioner, he led the way for the purchase of nine additional acres to the north of the property and recently the purchase of one more acre to the south. The land is currently being used to grow alfalfa and row crops with farming contracts that require that 25 percent of the crops remain un-harvested for wildlife and migratory fowl at the end of the growing season. The perimeter trails on the property have been developed as prescription exercise trails complete with outdoor furnishings and interpretive signs.
Pajarito is also an excellent place for bird watching and offers scenic views of the west mesa.