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t’s time to apply for the Master Naturalist program. This program received both national and statewide recognition last year and we are now entering our fifth year. Applications are due by March 31. Also, this spring we are offering a six part series on developing your own home garden landscape. Two workshops will be presented this March. Finally, we have a fun evening event on Toads and Frogs on March 22.  Please see the event descriptions below, and register for free at You can also register by contacting Colleen Langan-McRoberts at (505)314-0398.


Master Naturalist Program

Bernalillo County Open Space is accepting applications for the Master Naturalist program from March 1-31, 2014.  The Master Naturalist Program, spearheaded in 2010, is ideal for individuals who have a love for the outdoors, curiosity of the natural environment, a desire to work with others, and help support conservation measures that improve land health.

A select group of dedicated participants will experience a wide range of FREE classes and hands-on field experiences totaling 55 hours this June and July. Upon completion of the classes, participants will carry out a 40 hour service project on Open Space properties during the course of the following year. To learn more or apply to the program, visit Applications are at the bottom of the Master Naturalist page.


Backyard Farming Workshop Spring Schedule

The six part “Divine Design” series will cover all the basics you need to plan, design or modify your home garden landscapes. With a focus on sustainability, permaculture and the wise use of our limited natural resources, the information in each class will build on those previous. Participants will leave with the tools to assess their home gardens and have a chance to share ideas and plans at the concluding workshop. Testing soil, mapping rainwater harvest and choosing correct plants are just a few of the topics to be covered. Don’t have a garden space at home? That’s ok, we will also be analyzing the demonstration garden and the Historic Hubbell House to make a garden plan for 2015.


Garden Planning and Sustainability in the Home Garden

March 8 from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House (6029 Isleta Blvd. SW)

Participants will learn how to observe and assess their current landscape in order to plan for a productive garden space. Special attention will be given to existing structures and the sun’s path throughout the year. Let nature tell you where your garden fits best! Hosted by Michael Reed or La Orilla Farm, a permaculture project based in Albuquerque’s South Valley. This is the first class in  a six part series. Register at


Water Harvesting and Assessment

March 22 from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House (6029 Isleta Blvd. SW)

We live in a desert! Find out how to conserve water in your thirsty garden. Mapping hardscapes, observing low spots and understanding how water permeates different soils will all be touched on. Harvesting rain water and grey water for the garden will shift your thinking from water scarcity to water abundance. This is the second class in a six part series. Register at


Frogs & Toads of the Rio Grande Valley

March 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Bachechi Open Space (9521 Rio Grande3 Blvd. NW)

Tom Giermakowski, from the Museum of Southwestern Biology at The University of New Mexico, will introduce the wonderful world of frogs and toads with a focus on species one might find around Bernalillo County such as Leopard Frogs and Woodhouse’s and Spadefoot Toads. The presentation will cover seasonal occurrences including mating, spawning and egg hatching cycles as well as the citizen science project, FrogWatch USA. Following the indoor presentation, participants will venture outdoors for a night walk throughout the adjacent wetlands and receive a free frog and toad guide developed by a Master Naturalist volunteer. Register at


Cesar Chavez Day of Service

March 28 from 9a.m. – 1 p.m. at Sanchez Farm Open Space

Bernalillo County Open Space and La Plazita Institute is proud to host the Cesar Chavez Day of Service where hundreds of students come out to Sanchez Farm in the South Valley to learn about the importance of Cesar Chavez’s legacy and benefits of local agriculture today. Following the Day of Service, the Recureda a Cesar Chavez Committee (RCCC) is organizing the 21st annual march and festivities to and from the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The public is welcome to join the festivities and learn about the life and work of the great American civil rights leader Cesar Chavez while enjoy live music, poetry, cultural dances, guest speakers and youth activities. For more information, visit



Colleen Langan-McRoberts

Open Space Coordinator


505-681-2605 (cell)