Public voices ideas for new Albuquerque open space

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque is working on a new open space area — and the city wants to hear ideas about how to use it.

The city’s newest open space area on the West Side is in the planning stages.

"This is a part of our natural ecosystem, I’ve never been to before because it’s been closed and it’s not open to the public, so I’m really excited to get to experience this new area,” said Selena Connealy, an Albuquerque resident.

On Saturday, the city invited the public to tour the property to pick up trash and give input on how they would like to see it developed into an open space.

"I don’t think we need like a giant visitor’s space or those kinds of built environments, but thinking about other ways we could encourage folks to be here and enjoy this place,” said Connealy.

In March the city purchased the 23-acre property off Coors along the West Side Bosque for $6.7 million. The plans were to build a new subdivision of homes on the land, but not anymore.

"No, now this 23 acres will not be developed but in perpetuity, it will be protected as open space. It will become a public place," said Colleen McRoberts, superintendent of Open Space Division.

The city is currently cleaning up the area and removing hazards, like dead trees, loose wires, and exposed piping, as it gets feedback and ideas from the community as it develops a plan for the property.

"Now we get to dream together to see how this property can support future outdoor recreation and education and also think about how it protects the greater San Antonio Oxbow, which is a really important ecological area which is what made this property so important and crucial,” said McRoberts.

There are two more opportunities to learn about the property and give input on the San Antonio Oxbow Extension.