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Arenal Property Latest Addition to BernCo’ s Award-Winning Open Space Program


The Board of County Commissioners at its April 26, 2016 administrative meeting approved the acquisition and purchase of 23 acres of agricultural lands in the South Valley that will be an addition to the BernCo award-winning Open Space program. The cost of the property including water rights, as appraised, is just under $1.85 million.

“Preserving green space in the middle of the most urban part of the South Valley is important,” says Commission Chair Art De La Cruz. “Preserving this property is important to all the community and preserves our history and our capacity to grow food locally.”

The property will be purchased with voter-approved Open Space mill levy funds and will be added to the county's Open Space inventory. In 2014, Bernalillo County voters approved a new .2 mill levy, or property tax, on the assessed value of property. The mill levy generates an estimated $2.7 million a year that is to be used specifically for the acquisition, preservation, maintenance and programming of county open spaces.

The property is a part of the former Swendson Dairy located in the South Valley on Arenal Road directly across from Rio Grande High School. The 23.32 acres of land is and will continue to be used as agricultural lands as part of the Cultivating Bernalillo County Initiative, a series of programs and partnerships to support local farmers and increase access of our communities to local fresh food. 

During community meetings on the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Facilities Master Plan, the property was identified repeatedly as a priority for future acquisition by the county.

Bernalillo County’s Open Space program currently includes about 1,000 acres at 13 locations. 

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