Vegas Verdes: It’s Happening Along the River Walk

Published in May 2020 in the Las Vegas Optic.

Amy Bell, principle architect at Groundwork Studio, has been hired to produce shovel-ready drawings for the Gallinas River Park improvements. These drawings will honor the conceptual design developed during our Community Design Workshop. Amy has already begun work to produce shovel-ready drawings and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The Gallinas River Park is owned by the City of Las Vegas and extends for about a mile and a half from Mills Avenue to Prince/Independence Street. The drawings will convey the future appearance of that entire length.

Many new park features will appear in the completed shovel-ready drawings. Among these are a children’s playscape that encourages discovery and exploration, an outdoor amphitheater, spaces to encourage quiet contemplation and observation of the river environment, trash cans, a drinking fountain, trail development, landscaping (especially at the entrances) and carefully placed lighting for public safety that yet does no harm to the wildlife.

During this process, two public meetings are planned, though at this time the form they will take is flexible. A method will present itself and the Gallinas River Park Collaborative will get the word out. For up-to-the-minute information, consult Facebook, watch for notices in the Optic and the radio, or get on the Hermits Peak
Watershed Alliance mailing list by a message to Jacob Erickson; jerickson@hermitspeakwatersheds.org.

The State of New Mexico Capital Outlay program, San Miguel County, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Community Foundation united to produce the needed funds to support this design work. Once the design drawings are achieved, funding for construction will be needed. Senator Pete Campos and other legislators came together for the 2020 legislative session in January and awarded $238,000 of Capital Outlay funds for phase one construction in the Gallinas River Park. Because of the pressure on the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature will be holding a special session in June, where funds will be reevaluated. It is possible that the funds allotted to the river walk will be rescinded. Please contact your Legislators to express your support for this revitalization project.

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