BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County is addressing people’s concerns about weed control after some said a new South Valley walking and biking path is unusable.
“The county can’t even keep the weeds out of it and it’s embarrassing,” local convenience store owner Jimmy Beal said.
The new biking and walking path on Second Street between Mountain View Elementary School and the Valle Del Oro Wildlife Refuge was just unveiled in a big ribbon-cutting ceremony in April, with people packing the pavement on foot and two wheels. Two months later, there was not a single pedestrian or bicyclist.
Weeds can be seen stretched across the sidewalk, and crews have closed off one big section for ongoing landscaping work. “This half is blocked off, but this half here, you can’t get down because of all the weeds. I wouldn’t let my kids ride down this path,” Beal said.
However, the county says that’s about to change. “We just don’t have the manpower to hand pull the weeds right now,” Catherine Lopez with county communications said.
They say there’s been a county-wide struggle to control weeds ever since commissioners put a moratorium on the chemical weed killer, Glyphosate, back in October, so crews are trying to play catchup by hand.
“We are in the process of hiring additional staff. But with the staff we currently have, it is just not enough to take care of the weed situation throughout Bernalillo County,” Lopez said.
Starting this week, they’re recruiting maintenance help twice a week from teens with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps from the nearby Valle Del Oro Refuge.
The county will be mailing a letter out to people in the area Tuesday, explaining the delay in controlling the weeds and the help it’s now getting. Officials say the landscaping work has to be re-done because the contractor planted trees and shrubs incorrectly.