By Mike Cook
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Nov. 8 general election ballot will include four general bond questions for voters who live in Las Cruces (in addition to the state GO bond questions that all New Mexico voters are on. will vote). The four issues are 1) a $6 million affordable housing fund to create homes and jobs; 2) $10 million for a new fire station to improve public safety and shorten response times; 3) $2 million for park improvements; and 4) $5 million for phase two of the East Mesa Recreation Complex.
For more information, visit www.las-cruces.gov, click on “RESIDENTS” and “2022 GO Bond”.
There are 104 parks in the city of Las Cruces, ranging from small neighborhood parks to multi-acre parks that attract visitors from across the city and area.
As part of its master plan and with many contributions from the community, the city’s parks and recreation department assessed and ranked all city parks based on their need for improvement. Many parks don’t have an identified funding source for upgrades, said Sonya Delgado, director of the parks and recreation department. So as funds become available with sources that include GO Bonds, the work begins.
If voters approve the $2 million City Parks GO Bond in the November ballot, it will make upgrades and improvements to La Llorona Park and neighborhood parks Salopek/Stull, Tellbrook, Hess Terrace and La Fonda, Delgado said.
- La Llorona Park, 3440 W. Picacho Ave., is “used extensively by the community,” Delgado said, for floating, kayaking, rafting, picnicking and hiking.
“It’s crowded out there when the water is flowing” in the Rio Grande, Delgado said.
With GO bond funds, Parks and Rec will replace playground equipment at La Llorona Park, add additional shade structures, upgrade restrooms and repair the trail.
- Salopek/Stull Neighborhood Park, 464 Salopek Blvd., would receive upgrades to its playground, shade structures and solar lighting.
- Tellbrook Neighborhood Park, 4290 E. Winchester Road, would have its exercise equipment removed and replaced if the parks improvement bond issue is approved.
- La Fonda Neighborhood Park, 1600 La Fonda Drive, would receive benches with shade, trash cans and dog bags if bail is approved.
- Hess Terrace Neighborhood Park, 500 W. Picacho Ave. would receive trees, benches with shade, garbage cans and dog bags.
Delgado said La Llorona Park would receive the largest share of the deposit if approved, with the remaining funds allocated to the other parks in the hope that improvements can be made to all five with the $2 million.
Park improvements have a “direct and positive impact on the community,” Delgado said. This was demonstrated more clearly than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic as local residents were able to access parks and trails during times of isolation, she said.
The city has “recreation programs for all ages and abilities that use our outdoor spaces,” she said. “We have recreational programs for all ages and abilities.
East Mesa Public Recreation Complex (EMPRC)
The first phase of EMPRC improvements was approved by voters in 2018. The 2022 bond approval will continue these improvements.
The $5 million for phase two upgrades to the 10-acre park would include sports and security lighting, including the lighting of eight pickleball courts, two multipurpose courts and two ball diamonds, Delgado said. .
The complex is the city’s third community park, after Young an Apodaca Parks, the city said.
The park improvements will bring sports tournaments to the facility, Delgado said, which will generate revenue for the city.
Department of Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation staff are responsible for the maintenance and beautification of city parks, pathways, sports fields, rights of way, median walkways, and facilities that include swimming pools and wading pools , said Delgado. The department has approximately 115 full-time employees, as well as some part-time and temporary employees.
“This team works hard for the community,” Delgado said. “We take this seriously. Our team is doing a great job. »