City and county agencies come together to clean Albuquerque bosque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque bosque may be a peaceful place for some, but for others it’s a personal dumping ground. 

Now, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and other local agencies rolled up their sleeves Wednesday to clean it up.

For longtime Albuquerque resident Richard Martin, visiting the bosque is part of his weekly routine.

“I am on my weekly hike of eight miles,” said Martin. “I walk, and I get to take pictures, and bird watch.”  

He says the bosque is like his own backyard, and he’s been coming here for the past 15 years. 

“It keeps me alive, it feeds all my creativity, I am an artist and this place just feeds me. Albuquerque, oh gosh just has such a wonderful gift with this place,” Martin said. 

A gift that many have not always taken care of. Over the years, Martin has noticed trash dumped across the bosque, but says it doesn’t stay there for long. 

“I’ve seen civic groups out here with their bags and cleaning up, and the city comes out here and cleans up from time to time, so it comes and goes,” said Martin.  

Trash and now homeless camps are a common sight in the bosque along both sides of the river, and this time, the city is not cleaning up alone.

Deputies with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s department along with members from other city, and county departments got to work Wednesday morning to clean up – it proved to be a large task. 

“Considerable amounts of trash was brought into the area by the homeless population, just like other parks in the city,” said BCSO Sgt. Chris Star. 

The overall goal was not only to clean up, but also discourage homeless camps from growing in the area because when there are homeless camps, there could be fire hazards. 

“Starting fires to stay warm and to cook food also adds a secondary problem – creating fires in the bosque. We’re hoping to lean forward a little bit on the fires likely to occur down there this summer,” said Star. 

Several pounds of trash were picked up Wednesday. There are plans to do more clean-ups like this across other city parks.

As for Martin, he says he’s grateful for today’s clean-up, and hopes the community can also take part in making and keeping the bosque beautiful. 

“It’s for all of us, it won’t be here if we don’t take care of it,” said Martin.