ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some Albuquerque residents are calling for better upkeep at a popular park near Old Town. They claimed the state of disrepair is sending the wrong message to out-of-state visitors.
“It changes the environment. It changes it from a space for kids to something else,” said Albuquerque resident, Julia Herndon. That is the impression some said they feel the city is sending to visitors at Tiguex Park.
“It’s a little bit disheartening, like when I was a kid, everything was totally operational, like obviously water fountains were working, everything was really lush, and people were coming here a lot,” said Herndon.
While much of the park does appear to be well kept, one area stands out as an eyesore, the playground, which is coned off, boarded up, and covered in graffiti.
Visitors said they’ve called and sent complaints to the city, saying the playground has been attracting mischief for at least four months.
“This is supposed to be a spot that drives our economy, and then you see the park, which is a real symbol of the city, and not a money maker, and being so neglected shows skewed priorities,” added Herndon.
As for the non-working water fountain, parkgoers said it’s been out of operation for more than half the year.
“Getting a drink of water is important for all children and for city leaders to ignore that is disgraceful. The maintenance people such as the fountain behind you and trying to fix the fountain have been less than diligent,” said Albuquerque resident Dave Schmidt.
A city Parks and Recreation spokesperson said it is common practice to shut off the fountains during winter. However, the city explained during the park’s spring start-up, employees found the fountain needed repairs, leaving a large hole around the fountain in the meantime.
“It’s a hazard. It’s been here over a week now. Either fix it or don’t fill it.” added Schmidt.
The Parks and Rec Department said parts have been ordered to fix the playground and drinking fountain, however, they say supply chain issues have caused delays. They said they plan on making those repairs over the next few weeks.