Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is the first Urban Wildlife Refuge in the Southwest that is managed by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
Bernalillo County contributed $5 million in 2012 to purchase 390 acres of the property and continues to be involved as a partner helping to secure the remaining parcels and develop the area into a thriving oasis for wildlife and education.
This 570-acre property, formerly known as Price’s Dairy, is located in the South Valley of Albuquerque, adjacent to the Rio Grande. This property is one of the largest remaining undeveloped riverfront properties within the Albuquerque metro region. The creation of the new refuge offers a myriad of benefits for the people of New Mexico.
With its focus on education and outreach, Valle de Oro will provide a new place for students of all ages to learn about and interact with nature. As open space with accessible trailheads, the Refuge will provide unique recreational opportunities.
And with nearby access to Interstates 40 and 25, there are also economic benefits as the new refuge will not only create jobs but will also attract visitors. The property is located in Bernalillo County's District 2, where Commissioner Art De La Cruz has long been a vocal supporter of the project.
The river corridor provides an opportunity for hiking and biking along the planned Rio Grande trail, which is proposed to parallel the river as it curves through New Mexico from north to south. The Refuge will also provide an important trailhead for this system and could also be a new southern terminus of the City of Albuquerque’s existing Paseo del Bosque Trail.
In addition, the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail crosses the eastern edge of the property.
This historic route, dating back to the sixteenth century, connected the Spanish capitol of Mexico City to Texas and New Mexico. These recreational connections will improve public access to the Rio Grande and underscore the significant federal, state, local, and private efforts to promote recreation and the outdoors.
Learn how you can get involved by becoming a member of the Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. For more information, click on this brochure for the Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge.
Pictured above are, from left, New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, former New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman, then-U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manager Joy Nicolopoulos and District 2 Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz.
Click on the image below for a video about the refuge.