City seeks community input on Barelas Park renovations

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is looking for community input on improvements to a park in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

“We’re so excited to be embarking on a complete renovation of Barelas Park,” Dave Simon, Director of Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Department, said. “This is a wonderful park in one of our most historic neighborhoods and we’re so excited for its new future.”

The city is hosting a number of community input sessions starting Oct. 17. It’s also launching a survey in which people can share their opinions. The city has $1.2 million in federal grant funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to design and renovate the park. Simon said neighbors have already given some helpful ideas.

“Among the things they have mentioned are repurposing perhaps some of the tennis courts but keeping the really popular handball courts here at the park,” he said. “They’re (tennis courts) not getting as much use and we think there’s some room there for some new creative uses in the middle of the park…and also consider new, exciting elements to this park. Maybe some things we don’t have at any other park in the entire city.”

In addition to revamping the tennis court area, which was last renovated in 1995, the city wants to add more lighting and upgrade the playground, even possibly moving it closer to the community center. The playground was last renovated in 2008.

Simon said the city is also interested in finding ways for the spaces, like the parking lot in front of the community center, to better serve the neighborhood and city. “Also make the park more vibrant with more kinds of spaces that support a variety of activities that will keep the park busy and active. And that means, an active park is a safer park, he said.

The city is also considering partnering with New Mexico United to bring a soccer program to the park. The October 17 event will run from 1 p.m to 4 p.m. and will have different stations where people can share their input. According to the project website, the city hopes to start construction by summer 2021.

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