City purchases 145 acres of open space in Four Hills area

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Just outside of town, off a less-than-popular I-40 exit, some people are celebrating.

“This is another jewel in the crown of one of the country’s best open space systems,” said Dave Simon, director of Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Department. 

Mayor Tim Keller says it will rival the Petroglyphs, the Foothills, and the bosque.

“When this project is done, this whole canyon is going to be just as big, and just as vibrant, and just as special as those other three areas,” Keller said.

Part of the progress has been the acquisition of 145 acres they call Diamond Rock, just east of the Four Hills neighborhood.

“It was very important that we try to protect this remaining land from development. So we could create these wildlife corridors and trail connections,” Simon said.

Half of the $1.4 million purchase will be picked up by the feds from a grant the Parks and Recreation Department was rewarded.

“These are the most sensitive and valuable natural and cultural resources right along the creek,” Simon said. 

They want to protect this area and make a place for everyone to enjoy.

“What is going to happen is wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunity for you, and your grandchildren,” Simon said.

Eventually, the city wants to build the East Side Open Space Education Center – that’s still in the planning phase. 

Additionally, city councilor Rene Grout has a proposal to increase funding for open space purchase and maintenance. That’s set to come up in the next city council meeting.