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    Glyphosate is an herbicide. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. Glyphosate was first registered for use in the U.S. in 1974 and is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. People apply it in agriculture and forestry, on lawns and gardens, and for weeds in industrial areas.

    Glyphosate is the main ingredient found in the popular weed-killer, “Roundup.”


    Members of the community went to the Board of County Commissioners with concerns about the use of glyphosate. Their concerns included the dangers that glyphosate can have on both humans and the environment. As a result, the commissioners issued a temporary moratorium on the use of glyphosate in county parks and open space properties while the county’s Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department developed a plan for the phasing out of the use of the herbicide.


    A temporary glyphosate moratorium went into effect in October 2018. On April 23, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance to permanently stop the use of glyphosate on county-owned parks and open space properties.


    Currently, the county is removing weeds via mechanical methods (i.e., mowing, hand trimmers, etc.) on a first come, first serve process through a work order system. Priority is given to main throughways, parks and ball fields.

    The landscape, architecture and planning firm, Sites Southwest LLC, is under contract with Bernalillo County to assist in developing an Integrated Vegetation Maintenance Management Plan. BernCo and Sites Southwest will also be meeting with members of the community and other stakeholders to find solutions to weeds maintenance. It will include research of alternative products and best practices on what other communities are doing regarding this issue.

    The Integrated Vegetation Maintenance Management Plan is slated to be completed by spring 2020.


    All herbicide products that the county uses must be registered through the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA); this includes “organic” herbicide products. Not all herbicides labeled as organic are registered with NMDA. Organic products, although safe, can become more costly to use. Organic products do not always kill the root zone of a weed nor do they have an effect on larger weeds; thus, the organic product must be applied two to four times more frequently than non-organic products.

    At this point, most alternative herbicide products are considered more hazardous and toxic to the environment and to the county employees who apply it.

    To date, the county is not currently using organic herbicides but is still looking into a safe alternative weed killing product that will attack and kill the root zone of a weed.


    Yes, on May 28, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners approved the hiring of 13 additional full-time park maintenance workers and two support staff beginning July 2019.

    With these added employees, the county will be at a 1:35 ratio, one employee per 35 acres of public land.


    123 properties that equate to 2209.15 acres, not including future acquisitions.

    • Open Space - 1042.2 acres
    • East properties - 808.45 acres
    • South properties - 170.16 acres
    • North properties - 188.34 acres


    It is difficult to determine a timeline due to the amount of precipitation we have been experiencing in the area during the monsoon seasons, and the length of time it will take the county to be fully staffed and for those employees to be properly trained.

    Alternative methods of weed control will take time to establish and become effective.


    The community’s patience during this transition period is very much appreciated. Residents need to be aware that weed growth on their own property, including the setback area (that portion of public land along the road between the private property line and the curb or pavement that is driven by automotive traffic, Bernalillo County Code Section 66-225 (c)), needs to be maintained by the residents themselves.

    By all of us doing our part, we can keep the weeds under control and be environmentally safe at the same time. For now, mention to all your neighbors who use a county park or facility, “If you see a weed, pull a weed.”

    Your assistance in volunteering to help remove weeds in our parks, open spaces and fields would be greatly appreciated.


    Call the BernCo Contact Center at (505) 468-7777 or via email at contactcenter@bernco.gov.

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    Community Services
    • Youth ages 11-19 are invited to participate in our free Teen 3-on-3 basketball program every Friday night from 7-10 June 14 through Aug. 9. Dinner will be served before each event at 6 p.m. with a mandatory life skills workshop at 6:30. Registration begins May 13. For more details contact Ashley Gutierrez at (505) 314-0465.
      Westside Community Center, 1250 Isleta Blvd. SW
      7/19/2019 7:00 PM - 7/19/2019 10:00 PM

    • Location:
      Los Vecinos Community Center, 478 NM-333 Tijeras
      7/20/2019 10:30 AM - 7/20/2019 1:30 PM

    • Play, learn and explore with the entire family at Summer Family Fun Days at Bachechi Open Space! Each Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. come out for weekly crafts, outdoor activities and experiments that will deepen your discovery of the world. Each week will have a unique craft that you can take home, and the theme changes every month! Best of all, it's FREE! Call (505) 314-0420 for more information.
      Bachechi Open Space, 9521 Rio Grande Blvd. NW
      7/21/2019 12:00 PM - 7/21/2019 5:00 PM

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