ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Hundreds are protesting a plan to revamp the Bosque and Rio Grande River area.
Mayor Richard J. Berry's ' Rio Grande Vision ' plan to revamp the area and promote tourism has been in the works for quite some time.
An online petition against it is rapidly growing. Saturday, petitioners rallied, in an effort to spread their message. The online petition ha received around 900 signatures by Saturday.
Locals love to hit the trails in the Bosque. Several of them gathered in hopes of sending a strong message to the Mayor's office to "please let it be."
"This event was designed to show the strong community that loves the Bosque for how it is, and how it exists in its natural state," explained Alex Limkin, petition organizer. "And who would feel that it was diminished if we had development."
People from the community drew dozens of pictures, and wrote messages such as, "preserve the Bosque," and "please put the Bosque and river before profit."
Supporters are signing a petition against the Rio Grande Vision; Mayor Berry's project to transform parts of the Bosque.
"We're having a great local dialogue and that's what we do want," Berry said. "We have a vision document that lists all kinds of possibilities for ways to bring the river more into our day to day lives and then we're asking the community to come back to us and say what do you like, what don't you like, because this is a community built plan."
City Council has approved nearly $3 million of capital improvement program funds for amenities. Considerations include kayaking, boat ramps, pedestrian bridges, and improved access to the river.
However, not everyone's on board.
"I think its a place to really connect with the non-human world, the nature world, and I think there's a sense of beauty in the Bosque that I really don't find anywhere else in the world," said Sarita Streng, Albuquerque resident who signed the petition.
While several are asking to leave the area wild, Mayor Berry said his plan will preserve it, adding he wants to make it easier for people to enjoy.
"This is a one-of-a-kind asset its a generational asset in our city, so much of what we're trying to do is bring the river more into folks lives," Mayor Berry said.
Mayor Berry said there will be meetings throughout the summer to allow more public input on the project, then his office will take the ideas back to a consultant and incorporate public concerns into the final plan.
He said the project is not yet concrete, adding, at this point it does not include plans for business development in the Bosque, that it's more about recreation.
A spokesperson for Mayor Berry's office said an environmentalist will be working with the team to help ensure conservation plans.
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