Ground Renewal Ceremony at Santa Fe Railyard Park Site (NM)

Santa Fe, N.M., 5/9/2007: The New Mexico State Office of The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the City of Santa Fe will host a public groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza on Saturday, May 12, at 2 p.m. in the Railyard Park, behind SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta. All ages are invited to attend this free event. Parking is available at the corner of Cerrillos Rd. and Guadalupe St.

“Seeds of Renewal” is a unique “ground renewal” event to commemorate the revival of the long-neglected Railyard site into the Railyard Park and Plaza, a 12-acre public space project featuring a 10-acre park, a plaza, pocket parks, and a walk-bike path that will be the hub for an emerging citywide trail system. TPL, a national nonprofit organization, is developing Santa Fe’s newest city park on behalf of the City of Santa Fe as part of the revitalization of the city-owned Railyard.

New Mexico First Lady Barbara Richardson will appear at the event, plus Mayor David Coss, local and state dignitaries, representatives from New Mexico’s congressional delegation and Farmers Market officials. The Groundbreakers Railyard Park and Plaza Business Alliance, some 50 Santa Fe businesses that are supporting the project, will receive special recognition. Park and Plaza landscape architect Ken Smith and former Tesuque Pueblo Gov. Mark Mitchell will lead a ground renewal blessing.

Also highlighted are the talents of Santa Fe Public School students, grades 1 to 6, who participated in a citywide poetry contest sponsored by The Trust for Public Land in cooperation with the Santa Fe Arts Commission and Santa Fe New Mexican. Students were asked to write poems expressing what parks and open space mean to them, and how a new 10-acre park in central Santa Fe will improve their lives.

Noted Santa Fe poet laureate Arthur Sze judged the project, which drew entries in English and Spanish from schools citywide. In addition to a special reading by Sze, 1st-place winners will read at the event, and all 1st- to 3rd-place winning poems will be displayed. Winning poems will also be published in the Santa Fe New Mexican on Sunday, May 13.

“Many people have already contributed so much to the Railyard effort,” said Brian Drypolcher, Railyard Park and Plaza project director for The Trust for Public Land. “I hope lots of people come outso we can all pat ourselves on the back for making this happen as a community.”

Mayor David Coss adds: “Our community has been working toward this ground breaking for many years. The success of the Railyard Park and Plaza is a result of a wonderful public-private collaboration that will make a longtime community dream come true.”

Kind World Foundation to Announce Surprise Gift at Event

As construction commences on the Railyard Park and Plaza, TPL will enter the final phase of its “Come Together” capital campaign to fund the project. To date, TPL has raised $10 million in public and private funds. An additional $3.5 is now needed to complete all of the park and plaza’s built features and amenities.

In an effort to generate widespread community support to complete the project, the Kind World Foundation will announce a surprise gift to the Railyard Park and Plaza at the Seeds of Renewal ceremony. The gift is intended to be a challenge to all community members.

“The Kind World Foundation was initially attracted to the Park and Plaza project because of its dynamic mix of innovative and thoughtful public spaces, creative play areas, colorful xeriscapic landscape and cutting-edge water harvesting techniques,” said Lee Lysne, executive director of the Kind World Foundation. “The project is also a great example of how responsible urban renewal and sensitive environmental restoration can successfully address the needs of both plants and people. Like all great urban parks, the Park and Plaza will truly offer something for everyone.”

Contributors to the challenge will have opportunities to fund specific features of the park and be recognized on a plaque with their name or other message on it. This recognition program includes park benches as well as such larger features as shade ramadas, gardens, pocket parks, picnic circles and pathways. Numerous park benches, a pocket park, the toddler’s play area, and two of the four picnic circles have already been funded.

Construction on the Railyard Park and Plaza is expected to be completed during spring and early summer of 2008. Park highlights include a creative all-ages Children’s Play Environment; shaded gardens and picnic areas; the 400-year-old Acequia Madre bordered by a beautiful cottonwood bosque; an outdoor performance space for arts presentations and community celebrations; and much more. The Railyard Plaza includes space for the weekly Farmers Market and other outdoor community events.

The Railyard Park and Plaza are integral parts of the revitalization of the historic 50-acre Santa Fe Railyard. When complete, the entire redevelopment project will include a mix of live-work, commercial and nonprofit entities, including the Farmers Market, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Warehouse 21 Teen Arts Center and SITE Santa Fe.

For more information about TPL’s May 12 “Seeds of Renewal” event call Donna Wells at 988-5922, ext. 119 or email

For more information about the Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza call 988-5922 or visit

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization with a mission to conserve land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.