Far below is a map of Albuquerque. If you look at the section boxed near Tingley Beach and the Bio Park, you see the bosque is colored in pink. Why? Do you think Albuquerque should have a park directly alongside the Rio Grande that is designed to preserve the health, beauty, and longevity of the cottonwood trees? How? By preventing bosque fires in the area. The pink section of the bosque between Bridge, SW and Central SW would be a park that would have better paved pathways possibly with cobblestone, more trash cans, and lighting along the bike trail and in the bosque. Grass native to the region would also be added on the ground to lay on. The grass would be watered by recycled or reclaimed water. The section of bosque between Bridge and Central has more people walking in and out of the wooded areas than any other section. With more foot traffic and dry conditions, there is a greater chance of wildfires. However, if the area were well lit and had grass that is consistently watered, the fire danger would greatly reduce. How about two pedestrian river crossings also with lights? The park would have habitat recovery zones along the delicate banks of the river. So? What do you think? Share your thoughts please.
The bosque could use some more restoration towards its natural state, but it is an extremely important ecosystem and wildlife habitat and ought to be left more or less as it is. On the other hand, it would be great if the city could figure out how to purchase the Albuquerque Country Club and turn *that* into a public park...it would be perfect for ball fields, walking trails, etc. and would link Tingley Beach, Tingley Park and the BioPark into a huge, Central Park-like whole.
This would be amazing! At the minimum, maybe the city could acquire half of the course, similar to the situation at the UNM course by the hospital. Having a green belt connecting Old Town and the Bosque would be a huge asset for citizens of ABQ and tourists who visit here. Now if they could only get a road diet on Rio Grande between Mountain and Central...
I wouldn't mind the pedestrian river crossings!
Is this proposal different from the activities the City, State and Corps of Engineers are already doing on bosque restoration?
There has been quite a bit of work done in the past 8 years or so on bosque restoration, but it all takes time. The City commissioned and has been implementing a restoration plan that involves removing invasive species, nurturing cottowood seedlings, seeding grasslands (native grasslands, not playing fields-type grass). Some of the funding has also come from the Feds to address issues of fire abatement within the urbanized area. The area that includes Tingley Ponds and the adjacent bosque in particular has had a lot of work done, including etsablished wetlands, tree thinning, removing invasive species, grass plantings and two wildlife ponds within the bosque (that are separate from the ones by Tingley Drive reserved for fishing and small boats). Its really very nice. I also thought there was lighting on the paseo del bosque paved bike path adjecent to the ponds, but maybe I am wrong.
I have mixed feelings about putting lighting down in the bosque itself. Firstly, it may disrupt wildlife activity and it also may be logistically challenging as that is an official flood zone. I do like the idea of additional pedestrian bridges across the river. The one at I-40 is nice, but does not take me anywhere I really want to go. I think one could easily cantilever separated walking/biking bridges off the existing Central and Bridge (and Rio Bravo while we're at it) bridges without too much difficulty and that may be cheaper than building entirely new structures.
If we were able to create good, easy to access cross-river links and then invest even a fraction of the development efforts on the west side of the river that has been invested on the east side, that would be fantastic. When I lived in the Suth Valley, I really felt that side of the bosque was terribly neglected. That has improved somewhat with the removal of invasive sepcies, but there is not established, paved hiling and biking path on the levy or really any other amenities that make using the space very positive (picnic table, lighted areas, designated trails, etc.)
I like your ideas alot. I also agree that the bosque south of Rio Bravo needs more improvements such as more open space police patrols. The area is home to a large group of transients living just north of the I-25 crossing. I have been able to see their campfires! I'm not against the homeless. But, the camfires are a HUGE problem. Oh, and as far as connecting river crossings alongside the bridges isn't very safe and might even be more costly than building new ones. In 1992 the city was proposing the idea along I-40 and found that most bridges must have "connection folds" which none of the bridges have. They are steel inserts that have openings for added lanes similar to the kind used on the Hoover Dam bypass bridge in Nevada that crosses the Colorado. Thank you for your comment they really help me learn all aspects of development in the best city on earth.
i think a dog park along the river, with river access, would be nice. And if we are doing that, how about a dog park up in the foothills as well. just a thought.
A better alternative for a "central park" proximate to the river would be the land the City already owns north of and abutting the BioPark. I think this used to be a campground but that was before my time. There are 40 acres in that strip which is currently fenced off from the bikeway/trail that borders it on the west. From the aerial photos there seem to be some activities there now, but nothing open to the public that I am aware of.
I've seen this property while riding along the bike trail...it is expansive, wooded, and looks very promising.
It's too bad that 25-year lease for a casino at the fairgrounds was pushed through with no stakeholder comment period or a reasonable chance for other parties to submit proposals -- the fairgrounds would be a spectacular place for a "Central Park." A park in that location would enhance the urban renewal that has occurred in the surrounding neighborhoods of Nob Hill, the International District and Uptown. Alas, the governor feels that the people of New Mexico are best served by more opportunities for gambling.
You make a good point that people already trample that section of the bosque anyway, so why not corral them onto paths and make sure the vegetation is taken care of and appreciated.
I completely agree about the fairgrounds. what a lost opportunity for the city and state!
I agree that the casino lease was a completely missed opportunity. In particular for the acreage that it will consume. But all is not lost, we can still make use of the 150 acres (or whatever is left) in some way that could be more beneficial for the community and state.
When St. Pius left for the West Side and there was a huge parcel of land available right in the middle of Uptown, I thought that would be a PERFECT place for a large, Central Park-type space. But alas, ABQ Uptown is there now. The bosque has huge potential, and additional trails (particularly on the west side of the river to complete the loop), bathroom/water facilities and other amenties needed for an urban park could be done without harm to the ecosystem. All for it!