Trail Access Near Santa Fe Railyard Park Protected (NM)

SANTA FE, NM, 8/31/2006: —The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Santa Fe County announced today the permanent protection of approximately 114 acres of land east of the City of Santa Fe. Located in the foothills near the Santa Fe National Forest, this property contains over four miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that will connect the Dale Ball, Dorothy Stewart, and Atalaya Mountain trail systems to create a continuous 40-mile trail system only minutes from Santa Fe’s plaza. TPL purchased the property in May 2006 for open space and recreation purposes. Today, the parcel was conveyed to the County to ensure that thousands of area residents and visitors to New Mexico will be able enjoy its forested hillsides and meandering trails for generations to come.

Funding for this purchase of the Ponderosa Ridge property, valued at $2.2 million, was provided by the State of New Mexico and Santa Fe County. State Representative Peter Wirth and State Senator John Grubesic helped secure $750,000 from the New Mexico State Legislature. An additional $1 million came from Santa Fe County conservation finance measures, comprised of $750,000 from dedicated open space bond funds, and $250,000 from the gross receipts tax revenues set aside for joint County-City open space and trails projects. The balance was made up by a $450,000 land value donation from Ponderosa Ridge, Inc.

“TPL is extremely grateful to landowner Bill Parkerfor his generosity and dedication in protecting this special area for public benefit,” said Jenny Parks, Director of TPL New Mexico. “The Trust for Public Land is working hard in Santa Fe County and other parts of the state to help communities enhance and expand trail connections and open land to more recreational opportunities.”

Paul Olafson, Director of Open Space and Trails Division for Santa Fe County, says, “We are excited about the acquisition and preservation of this important property, and the opportunity to expand and connect existing trail systems in Santa Fe County. This project is an example of the County collaborating with the State, the City, TPL, local residents and Dr. Parker to expand open space holdings that are enjoyed every day by residents.”

Direct appropriations from the New Mexico State Legislature have assisted Santa Fe County in purchasing and enhancing open space properties. However, most of the County’s funding open space acquisitions comes from the two bond measures passed in 1998 and 2000, which together generated approximately $20 million. These bond measures were strongly supported by County voters and both measures were passed with assistance from TPL’s Conservation Finance team.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to preserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since it’s founding in 1972, TPL has protected nearly 2 million acres of land in 46 states. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For information, please visit us on the web at