Put on your hiking shoes and sunscreen and grab your water for a day in nature as The Nature Conservancy and its partners celebrate the grand opening of the new Harvey Jones Bioswale and recreation area in Corrales on Thursday, April 7, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.
A bioswale is a nature-based solution—a wide dirt channel—that collects and slowly infiltrates stormwater to reduce pollutants before moving downstream into your water supplies. In this case, water will be cleaned before moving into the Rio Grande River.
Crews first removed 18,000 yards of dirt to lower one channel and create two new channels that move stormwater from Rio Rancho to the Rio Grande to lessen sediment and erosion. Over the course of two weeks, Rio Grande Return and volunteers planted 28,000 willows and 100 cottonwoods to create a healthy habitat for birds, wildlife and people, as well as to support Indigenous culture.
“Before all this work, years of accumulated sediment left native plants high and dry and allowed invasives to move in,” says Sarah Hurteau, Climate Program Director for TNC in New Mexico. “Also, stagnant water and mosquitos became a problem in another area. It needed some love.”
The incredible, multi-year effort will become 10 acres of wetlands creating an amazing home for birds and wildlife. Soon, trails will be built, and benches will be placed throughout the area.
The choice of planting willows in this area was an important one to Glen Catlin Ami, project partner and program coordinator for The Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps. “Willows are steeped in Indigenous cultures. We use them for prayer sticks during ceremonies and for medicinal purposes. We want future generations to be able to enjoy these cultural benefits too.”
Harvey Jones Bioswale partners include:
- Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA)
- Village of Corrales
- City of Rio Rancho
- Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD)
- Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps (a program of Conservation Legacy)
- Rio Grande Return
- Albuquerque Metro Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA)
Join TNC and project partners for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 7, at 10:15 am.
Questions? Email Tracey Stone.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.