Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge to use $250K grant to expand outdoor access
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge is expanding their access to the bosque after receiving a grant.
Now it’s just about construction, and they’re hopeful we can see some changes this year.
Since 2012, Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge has been expanding outdoor access to all New Mexicans.
“Valle de Oro occupies 570 acres that is situated on traditional, ancestral, and contemporary Tiwa land. It is due to grassroots efforts that the refuge exists and this is public space, and we are transforming this space in so many beautiful ways,” said Katie Dix, executive director of Friends of Valle De Oro Wildlife Refuge.
In 2022, the refuge opened their visitor center to increase programming and access. Two years later, they find themselves transforming once again.
“We have a lot of birders, hikers, but now that we have river access we have opportunity for researching and paddle programs and other things. We are expecting that more visitors will come,” said Dix.
A $256,000 outdoor recreation trails plus grant from the state will allow them to construct the Bosque Bridges project.
The City of Albuquerque is matching the state grant. The plan is to connect the Paseo Del Bosque bike path to Valle de Oro and improve access to the bosque for New Mexicans in the South Valley.
“To secure funds for a project that we have been so excited about just felt like such a great way to end the calendar year and go into 2024,” Dix said.
The workers at Valle de Oro aren’t wasting any time either, they hope New Mexicans can enjoy the new bridges and trails in the near future.
“I would say very hopefully that by summer 2024, we will have some bridges, but that is a hopeful answer. Like I said before this grant was specifically for shovel ready projects so all of the plans for these bridges are approved and ready to go,” said Dix.
Valle de Oro also plans to create an outdoor classroom.
On Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m. there will be a quarterly meeting where the public can learn about future projects.