Updated: November 30, 2020 02:38 PM
Created: November 27, 2020 04:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A lot of people are taking advantage of New Mexico's open spaces.
"We are able to track people visitations in some places. Not all of course. Elena Gallegos, the place you like to visit, is one of them. So we have been steadily increasing the number of people that have been visiting that particular place for the last five years," said Open Space Superintendent Colleen McRoberts. "And then of course, after COVID, hit there was an explosion. Almost a doubling of numbers many months that we've been calculating."
Up to 30,000 thousand people have been enjoying popular trails.
"During COVID, people have spent a lot less money on things like movie tickets, sporting events, so we're seeing a very significant rise in people spending time and money on outdoor recreation," said David Simon, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Albuquerque.
The city has been expanding its outdoor space, which has become useful at a time when mask and social distancing are required.
"As long as we continue to protect our assets and take care of them, I think we have fantastic future potential for our outdoor recreation economy," Simon said.
Near the Tijeras Arroyo, the city just acquired even more open space property-- approximately 115 acres.
"We're going to be developing an interpretive signage plan, as well as a trail plan for this area," McRobert said.
Albuquerque Fire Rescue is responsible for responding to calls about crowds or no masks on the trails. If someone refuses to comply, the Albuquerque Police Department could get invovled.
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