South Meadows Open Space
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Completed: Under construction 2014
MRWM worked with Santa Fe County to develop a Master Plan for South Meadows Open Space. Located near the Traditional Village of Agua Fria, the 22-acre open space property has a historic connection to El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. The rapidly developing surrounding community encouraged the County to buy the property and preserve it as an open space.
The program for the open space includes a dog park, walking trails, amphitheater, community garden, picnic area, outdoor classroom, interactive/interpretive play nodes, parking, and drainage improvements. MRWM conducted a thorough site analysis to ensure that the placement and interconnections of site elements appropriately addressed the need to preserve the natural ecosystem while providing fun and accessible recreation opportunities for visitors. The design highlights the cultural and ecological history of the site through interpretive use of plant materials, natural drainage features, and interactive play elements. Concepts for the play nodes included a “torreón” or look-out tower offering a structure for children to climb while also telling the history of the Camino Real and providing views over the adjacent housing development to the Santa Fe River and the path of the historic trail. Another concept was to create tunnels that helped interpret the importance of the keystone prairie dogs present on the site, while also providing a fun play experience for children. We presented the master plan to the highly involved community members at a public meeting and adjusted the design to accommodate the needs they expressed.