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The University of New Mexico North Golf Course Urban Open Space is the newest addition to Bernalillo County’s Open Space inventory.

A true urban open space, this 79-acre oasis in the heart of Albuquerque is now protected, thanks to a unique partnership between Bernalillo County and the University of New Mexico. Protecting this open space was made possible by a 2012 agreement, approved by the Bernalillo County Commission and UNM, to protect the North Golf Course as Open Space for 15 years. UNM maintains ownership of the property, and the county contributed $1.5 million toward a major rehabilitation project. Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins led this effort, with the help of the North Campus Neighborhood Association and broad community support.

Work on Phase 1 improvements began in February, 2014 to overhaul the irrigation system, improve landscaping and transform the popular walking and running trail around the course’s two-mile perimeter. Construction of the project was completed and the course reopened in April, 2014. The project is saving 20 to 25 million gallons of water annually, or approximately a third of the previous usage, and has turned the golf course into one of the most popular open space destinations in the county.

Phase 2 improvements have been master planned and include the following:

  • A pipeline to facilitate the re-use of cooling water from the University’s chiller plant;
  • Construction of landscape enhancements along the trail, including additional tree replacements, xeriscaping to mitigate weeds, gateway elements and interpretive signage;
  • Design and construction of the Lobo community farm;
  • Rehabilitation of the John Gaw Meem rest area structure;
  • A series of drainage and runoff water quality improvements in collaboration with AMAFCA; and
  • Restoration of native grassland and pollinator planting areas between the fairways.

Funds for Phase 2 were secured in the 2014 and 2015 Legislative sessions, and additional funds will be sought during the 2016 Legislative session to complete Phase 2. Construction of the pipeline is scheduled to begin in January, 2016.

In addition to the above projects, the county is commissioning a Cultural Landscape Inventory and Report in collaboration with UNM and the North Campus Neighborhood Association to identify cultural resources and interpretive opportunities for this Works Progress Administration (WPA) -era facility.

This report will be completed in 2016 and will contain recommendations for future improvements, such as signage, fences and benches consistent with the findings of the inventory.

For more information and project updates, please contact Karen Wentworth of UNM at (505) 277-5627 or John Barney of Bernalillo County at (505) 314-0404.

Bernalillo County/University of New Mexico License Agreement
UNM North Golf Course Project Update - September 2013

Project Site Map (click on image to enlarge)

UNM North Landscape and Trailconcept Plan (click to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

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