Open Space & Recreation

The common thread that brings all of Albuquerque together…

As Mayor, Tim Keller will invest in one of Albuquerque’s most important assets:

Our Parks, Open Space, and Trails

The City of Albuquerque is a strong and special place.  Although we face immense challenges such as high crime rates, the need to create more job opportunities, and the need to improve our schools, we have a common thread that brings all of Albuquerque together. Our system of parks, Open Space and trails is one of our greatest strengths. The city manages approximately 300 parks; 29,000 acres of Open Space; over 170 miles of trails, and 12 public swimming pools and multiple recreation and tennis facilities serving residents of all ages. These quality of life resources must be protected, supported and utilized to address some of our residents’ basic needs: Safety and Social Equity, Health and Wellness, and Conservation.Rio_Grande-2.jpg

Safety and Social Equity:  Public recreation alleviates juvenile crime (more data at Parks and Open Space should be ¼ mile or walking distance from every home. The Rio Grande Bosque (Rio Grande Valley State Park) runs through low income communities in the near north valley, central, and south valley area of Albuquerque. Access to our open space and education of our youth is essential to combat “nature deficit disorder” where urban kids do not have experience with nature and outdoor recreation. Partnerships between Open Space and APS and our Charter Schools such as the South Valley Academy should be emphasized to connect our youth with nature.

Health and Wellness for All Ages:  Kids spend 6.5 hours a day on screen time according to 2014 figures. The cost of childhood obesity is $100 billion annually (more data available at The benefits of recreation and outdoor activities for teens include improved moods, relieved stress and reduced depression.  Bicycling, canoeing, hiking and observation of wildlife is not only a natural benefit for our residents but an eco tourism draw for visitors.  Albuquerque is a city with almost 365 days of sunshine, our parks, Open Space and trails system is a draw for retirees to relocate here, in a community which provides healthy activities for seniors including walking, outdoor education, socialization and volunteer opportunities.

Conservation:  The City Goals Committee established the goal in 1960, “to preserve the unique natural features of the metropolitan area by achieving a pattern of development and open space respecting the river, mesa, mountains, volcanoes and arroyos.”  This goal was embraced and supported by a grassroots effort of our community in the 1960s and 1970s. This commitment continues today and has succeeded in creating the existing Open Space System. Albuquerque’s Open Space Program is nationally recognized and must be supported. In partnership with Bernalillo County, we can create an Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Open Space system working toward regional acquisition and management. The continuation of this enlightened view of quality development allows growth that respects the natural environment and results in high quality development as well as positive economic development that respects our unique environment.

“The Nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation, and not impaired, in value.”  - Theodore Roosevelt