a group of volunteers gathers around for a tree planting demonstration
Volunteer Tree Planting Jennifer Dann from the New Mexico State Forestry demonstrates how to properly plant a tree. © Natalie Sommer/TNC

Stories in New Mexico

Urban Conservation

As part of a grant to bring more nature into the city, 135 volunteers planted 63 new trees in Albuquerque.

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The Mountain View neighborhood in Albuquerque’s South Valley is 8 degrees hotter than surrounding areas. Why? There are very few trees. Now, there’s an effort underway to cool the hot spot while improving the health and well-being of people who live there.

The Nature Conservancy's Urban Conservation Program—designed to bring nature into the city—brought together 135 volunteers to plant 63 native and desert adapted trees at seven neighborhood locations, including Mountain View Community Center and Joy Junction, on March 23. The newly planted trees will help clean Albuquerque's air and provide much needed shade.

Increasing the Tree Canopy

Albuquerque’s tree canopy is less than 10-percent. To help increase that number, Mountain View residents—through their neighborhood association—designed a master plan to improve landscaping.

“It’s important to plant and care for trees in an urban environment,” said Ben Maddox, a certified arborist and trustee of The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. Ben and his company, Maddox Outdoor Solutions, pre-dug holes for the trees prior to the volunteer planting day. “I’m inspired to be part of this huge community effort to green the city and support a healthy urban tree canopy.”

Science shows that more trees and greenspace reinvigorate residents’ social connection with nature, which makes people happier and healthier.

Thanks to Our Partners and Communities

This project was made possible through support from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and Wells Fargo, General Mills, Nusenda Foundation and private donors, as well as 230 hours of volunteer time. It is an example of how our Urban Conservation Program is working in Albuquerque to increase access to clean water and air as well as cool urban temperatures.

Special thanks to our partners and the 135 volunteers for their support and hard work: ADT Security Services; Ben Maddox, Maddox Outdoor Solutions; Cub Scouts | Boy Scouts of America; General Mills, Inc.; Rocky Mountain Youth Corps; Sandia High School students; University of New Mexico students; Wells Fargo; and many other volunteers who support TNC and the Mountain View neighborhood.

Plant a Tree

You can get help make Albuquerque greener by planting your own tree. You can learn more about native trees, proper tree care and how to apply for a "Tree-Bate" by visiting the Water Utility Authority's website.