Community Services


Open Space continues in its vision “to be a dynamic network of properties with important natural or cultural resources managed to benefit people, plants and wildlife by protecting and enhancing view sheds, water resources, wildlife habitat, cultural/historic sites, and prime agricultural land; and providing resource-based recreation and environmental education.”


The purpose of this strategy is to advance Bernalillo County’s economic, environmental, and social well-being through education, public/private partnerships, and public policy recommendations. Desired results from implementing the Cultivating Bernalillo County include:

Enhance Quality of Life – Strengthen County Open Space infrastructure and protect agricultural land to support local food production and preserve the County’s rich agricultural heritage.

Develop Diverse Economic Opportunities – Create a more robust agricultural economy within the County.

Promote Healthier Lifestyles – Provide underserved communities in the County with better food options and education to promote healthier lifestyles.

For this purposes of this initiative, agriculture is defined in the traditional sense as well as “urban agriculture”, which includes cultivating, processing and distributing food in, or around, the metropolitan area of Bernalillo County. Examples include community, school, backyard, and rooftop gardens, innovative food-production methods that maximize production in a small area, community supported agriculture based in urban areas, and family farms located in metropolitan greenbelts.


Program vision is to promote a locally-based food and agricultural system on suitable county-owned Open Space properties, and privately-owned properties under an agricultural conservation easement, that advances Bernalillo County’s economic, environmental and social well-being through education, partnerships and public policy recommendations.

Grow the Growers Program

Cultivating Bernalillo County has been the key guiding principle behind the development of our Grow the Growers program. This is a yearly training program that turns passionate emerging farmers into business savvy food production professionals and allows for the strengthening of the local food economy present in this county. Learn more about the program here.

International District Urban Agriculture Plan

In addition to guiding the programmatic direction of our Grow the Growers program, Cultivating Bernalillo County has also influenced capital priorities and decisions made about new Open Space properties. One such result of that was the acquisition of our very first Urban Open Space, which in turn inspired the beginnings of the International District Urban Agriculture Plan. The plan, led by Bernalillo County and the Steering Committee, is a collaborative process between us and eight other project partners working to increase the availability of agricultural and natural demonstration sites in and around the International District. This plan has already and will continue to demonstrate active participation in local agricultural efforts, helped to develop visions of future agricultural development opportunities, and shared knowledge and resources across public and private sector lines. You can view the result of this planning and visioning process here.



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  • A delightful workshop that promises to inspire tending to beneficial insects and pollinators so that they can thrive in your yard. Learn early season strategies like knowing what to plant when managing spring yard preparations in a way that fosters a healthy environment. Plus, hear what’s happening in the current legislative session towards helping the survival of these vital insects. Presenters are Anita Amstutz, founder of the non-profit, Think Like a Bee, and Mary Jo Picha, BernCo master naturalist.
    3/6/2021 9:00 AM - 3/6/2021 10:30 AM

  • Master composter, John Zarola, will share how raised garden beds in the high desert present many useful management options for home gardeners. The class topics include bed set-up and sheet composting for soil fertility as well as making soil amendments, the types of mulches and which irrigation methods are well-suited for raised beds.
    3/13/2021 9:00 AM - 3/27/2021 11:00 AM

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