Balloon Fiesta Park: The environmentally-friendly side
Posted at: 10/02/2012 6:31 PM
By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4
You can tell by looking around that Balloon Fiesta Park is one of the greenest spots in Albuquerque, but what you can't see is that it has been environmentally green all along.
"Fiesta Park is actually a poster child for recycling and being green," said Balloon Fiesta Spokesman, Tom Garrity.
Albuquerque's emerald crown jewel has humble beginnings.
This lush park was a mere recycled gravel pit more that 30 years ago, but over the years was transformed into a thing of beauty.
The culture of recycling has always been paramount, all the way down to the grass, which is kept green by so-called "gray water" - not meant for drinking.
"It's non-treated water so it's still safe to use on the grass," said Albuquerque Parks Superintendent, James Dunn.
The payoff is huge, it saves Albuquerque 120 million gallons of drinking water per year.
"It's a major, major amount of water 120 million gallons goes a long way for drinking water so it's a big savings," said Dunn.
It's not just the grass, the pavement on the vendors' main street is also recycled.
"All of that is recycled from different parking lots pulled from throughout the area - so there's a lot of different types of ways that Balloon Fiesta Park is green," Garrity said.
Garrity said it is part of what makes Balloon Fiesta beautiful and unique.
"It's nice to know that when we're walking around with our breakfast burrito out at Balloon Fiesta Park, that we're walking around on items that have actually been recycled," Garrity expressed.
The City of Albuquerque said right now, Balloon Fiesta Park is one of about 20 sites throughout the city that uses this "gray water," and they hope to expand that to more spots in the future.