A Message from Colleen McRoberts, Open Space Coordinator:
Bienvenidos from the Bernalillo County Open Space staff. Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation owns and manages twelve very unique properties (990 acres) from the mountains to the valley, and have contributed to a number of other protected lands, including the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest - Valle del Oro.
Birthed out of a grassroots effort by numerous local groups and supported by the community at large, Open Space got its start when a 1998 referendum passed, providing 0.5 mill levy for two years and again in 2000 with a 0.25 mill levy for six years. The mission of the mill levy funds was to acquire and maintain open space for the benefit and enjoyment of Bernalillo County residents and visitors.
Many of the properties that were purchased likely would have otherwise been developed, yet today they are the county's environmental, historical and cultural treasures. These places include historic sites such as the Gutierrez-Hubbell History and Cultural Center and Ojito de San Antonio, which features active acequias providing essential water for the community.
They also include prime wildlife spots like Carlito Springs with its perennial streams and the newly developed Bachechi Open Space with an environmental education building. These are not only pretty places, but they are vital for the health of our watershed, preservation of our agricultural traditions, and the protection of wildlife.
The Open Space staff and our partners provide year-round opportunities to get out and explore these areas with workshops, guided hikes, educational field trips and volunteer opportunities. The Open Space program started in 2009, and our team strives to provide the utmost customer service by modifying our program each year based on the public's feedback and interests. I hope you will take advantage of this amazing network of properties and join our many events.
Aldo Leopold once stated, "When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." Our community is indeed rich and full of opportunity.
Bernalillo County Open Space strives to be a dynamic network of properties with important natural or cultural resources managed to benefit people, plants and wildlife by protecting and enhancing viewsheds, water resources, wildlife habitat, cultural/historic sites, and prime agricultural land; and providing resource-based recreation and environmental education.
For information about any of the Open Space properties or programming opportunities, contact Colleen McRoberts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come learn about caring for heirloom fruit trees and grapevines, drip and flood irrigation, year-round growing techniques and planting for wildlife.
The deadline to sign up for Bernalillo County’s popular Master Naturalist Program has been extended to Friday, April 5 at 5 p.m.This free program teaches volunteers about local ecology and gets them involved in taking care of Bernalillo County’s outstanding open space properties.
Bernalillo County’s Open Space Program and the Backyard Farming Series was recently featured on KRQE’s "New Mexico Style" program. To learn more about these free outdoor events, please visit the 2013 Open Space calendar of events.
Bernalillo County’s Open Space program has received the environmental stewardship award from the New Mexico Recreation and Parks Association.
Bernalillo County’s Open Space program is proud to present “Soaring the South Valley With Birds and Planes” on April 20 from 8 a.m. - noon at Durand Open Space. Enjoy guided bird walks, bird-watching, airplane displays, gliders and more at this special celebration.