Urban Habitat Restoration

Low-impact development using living systems to provide environmental services, such as capturing and filtering stormwater, creating wildlife habitat, and recharging groundwater.

Urban Habitat Restoration Projects


Harvey Jones Channel

Harvey Jones Channel is situated along the Rio Grande River and has historically been influenced by the Montoyas arroyo, the MRGCD, and the floodplain of the Rio Grande. The Harvey Jones Channel (HJC) bioswale is one of the only wetlands within the Albuquerque area that has a surface connection to the river that allows for potential backwater habitat. The project was only made possible due to the convergence of several factors: the Montoyas watershed mouth, the City of Rio Rancho’s effluent discharge, and the site context of the HJC located within the envelope of the historic remaining Rio Grande River floodplain often referred to as the bosque. Due to the context of the site being situated within the bosque the HJC didn’t face typical challenges to reincorporating surface water-connected wetlands within the Albuquerque area such as levees and drains. The Harvey Jones Project provides critical habitat and wildlife value to the landscapes of the Middle Rio Grande Valley as a reintroduced wetland area in a predominantly Arid landscape; this area serves as a retreat to flora and fauna.

Valle de Oro

Valle de Oro is one of the first urban wildlife refuges in the United States. This designation as an urban wildlife refuge is essential to understanding the scope of the project itself and the importance of it within the context of the urban landscape and in a community that has historically been subject to environmental injustice. The intention of establishing Valle de Oro as a refuge was meant to serve as a refuge for people and the more than human world. Valle de Oro through its outreach initiatives seeks to attract people from all walks of life within the Albuquerque metro area, New Mexico, and everywhere along the way. Valle de Oro opens its door to first-time nature goers, future generations interested in conservation, community members, and many more. Restoration efforts at Valle de Oro are only made possible–given the scale of this project and conversion of a prior dairy farm into a mosaic of ecosystems and the next generation of cottonwoods, New Mexicans know as the bosque–by youth corps, volunteers, refuge staff and contractors, and community partners.

Candelaria Nature Preserve

The Candelaria Nature Preserve is a unique effort to let mother nature reclaim her wilderness while providing a place of respite to humans second. The Candelaria Nature Preserve is critical in aiding nature’s ability to rehabilitate itself with the help of human intervention to provide nature a second chance at life. The CNP is also crucial in preserving and creating contiguous networks of natural landscapes providing a plethora of ecotypes that are responsive to climatic factors. The Candelaria Nature preserve has been successful in implementing restoration efforts through the help of devoted volunteers, student and community engagement, and human and non-human healing. Our work at Candelaria and the process of restoration efforts are only achieved through citizen science and an organic driven process requiring patience, a light touch, extensive experimentation, and diverse perspectives.

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Read About Our Other Restoration Projects

San Antonio Creek 2023

San Antonio Creek 2023

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State Land Office Monitoring

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