Our vision for the Bosque is for it to be a place in the heart of our city that everyone can access to experience and enjoy nature. Specifically, we support the following measures:
Improve access to help all people enjoy the Bosque
We want all Albuquerque citizens to be able to enjoy nature in the Bosque. Many of the places where you can access the Bosque have no formal parking and no signs to inform visitors that they are in the Bosque nature preserve and that there are trails they can hike. We need to improve parking, signage, maps, interpretive exhibits, design features, and amenities at access points so as to make the Bosque a welcoming and safe place where people can recreate and enjoy nature.
Help young people to get to know and enjoy the Bosque
Young Albuquerque residents seem to know little about the Bosque. Public schools have little money for field trips. We should fund field trips to the Bosque for all students and fund other programs that utilize the Bosque as an educational resource.
Ensure that birds and wildlife will be there for Albuquerque residents to enjoy
Habitat and ecosystems in the Bosque inside the levees should mostly be left undeveloped so the birds and other wildlife that use the Bosque will not be disturbed and chased away. Some minimal improvements may be appropriate, such as appropriately-placed educational signage to help people learn about the Bosque and trails for differently enabled people in some locations. However, the Bosque inside the levees should be mostly undeveloped.
We should also include a robust restoration component in our plans for the Bosque. Cottonwood bosques are a rare and valuable habitat. The City and other entities and citizens already are doing some terrific work to restore the Bosque. More needs to be done, however. There is a critical need to “bring the Bosque to the River” through lowering riverbanks, terracing, swales, back channels, and other restoration techniques that will reconnect the Bosque to the river.
Maintain Albuquerque's unique sense of place
The design team for the Rio Grande Vision emphasized that the one thing that differentiates Albuquerque from any other city in the U.S. is that the city has a “wild” forest and river running through its center. With the mountains to the east and a river and Bosque through its heart, Albuquerque has a unique setting and a unique sense of place. We should maintain this unique identity.
Improve the usability of the Paseo del Bosque trail for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other users
The Paseo del Bosque trail on the levees is a wonderful way to experience the Bosque. One option to improve the trail would be to create a parallel path so that slower traffic is separated from faster moving traffic. We should strive to improve visibility and remove potential hazards.
Maintain what we have
We need to use our tax dollars responsibly. Many facilities and services we value are seriously underfunded and have substantial backlogs of deferred maintenance. These facilities include parks and open space, libraries, the Biopark, and the zoo. Given our current situation, we should focus on maintaining existing facilities rather than building new facilities that will create new obligations.