Albuquerque residents invited to help rename parks, plazas and other community spaces
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The City of Albuquerque is launching a new project aimed at spotlighting the extraordinary people who live here.
“It’s really about understanding sort of our city’s history and honoring the people who lived there and their personal story, their lived experience,” said Mayor Tim Keller.
It’s called the “Stories of Us” project.
City leaders are planning to rename parks, plaza, libraries, community centers, and a long list of other city spaces after people who have made significant contributions to the cultural, social, and economic fabric of Albuquerque. Recent examples include renaming Washington Park to Bennie Hargrove Park, renaming a plaza at Barelas Park after Juan Jose Peña, and renaming part of Bridge Boulevard after Dolores Huerta.
“I think to us, it’s a part of placemaking and really elevating the uniqueness, the diversity of our community, and helping to bridge that connection for future generations to the past,” said Helen Maestas, director of Public Affairs for the mayor’s office.
Residents are invited to submit their recommendations online.
Maestas says certain places – like parks – will still have to go through the traditional naming process, but she says the city is open to ideas on how to honor certain people.
“It just depends on what the space or place is,” she said. “At one golf course, there’s a hole named after an individual who frequented that golf course. I think we’re really just open to ideas to helping make that you know, historical connection.”
She added recommendations are also not limited to notable figures in history – such as Huerta. She encourages residents to nominate anyone they feel has made a significant impact on the Albuquerque community.
“You know, that can be somebody like somebody’s grandmother, who maybe was really involved in the community in some way, and we want to recognize that person,” she said.
Mayor Keller believes incorporating the names and stories of people who made Albuquerque what is today into the fabric of the city will benefit the entire community.
“We’ve been around for a long time, 300 years,” he said. “We have an awesome story to tell, and it’s a story of grit and resilience, sometimes tragedy and sometimes triumph, and all of that is literally part of what makes us who we are today, and we’re stronger if we know those stories.”