A result of a two-year effort by Western Rivers Conservancy, the City of Alamosa, GOCO and other partners, the 203-acre riverfront park was completed late 2019. The project conserves a mile of the Rio Grande river and creates new opportunities for recreation along its banks. The largest funder of the project, GOCO, ranked Alamosa Riparian Park as its number-one Open Space Project in 2018 and provided $695,000 for the city to purchase the land. In addition, CTF gave $20,000 to the project.
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Located just northwest of Alamosa, the park serves as an upstream anchor for the City’s growing network of pedestrian and bike trails, adding more than five miles of new trails on the property itself. “It’s wonderful to see the community unite around the shared desire to connect with the Rio Grande,” said Andy Rice, Parks, Recreation and Library Director for the City of Alamosa. “Alamosa Riparian Park meets our residents’ needs for our burgeoning outdoor recreation and trail usage that center on the Rio Grande, making our city more healthy and vibrant.” The park is a critical piece of the community’s Revitalize the Rio Initiative, an effort to link trails and improve river health and access along the Rio Grande throughout Alamosa south to 11,000-acre Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. “Alamosa Riparian Park is tangible progress toward achieving the community’s vision to connect the rich assemblage of public green spaces and wildlife areas in and around Alamosa,” explained Rice.
The park is within walking distance of several neighborhoods and schools, and it will help link the city’s major green spaces, including the Oxbow Recreation Area just across the river. Creation of Alamosa Riparian Park inspired broad local support from every level of the community, including the City of Alamosa, Alamosa County, San Luis Valley Great Outdoors, Rio Grande Watershed Conservation and Education Initiative, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, San Luis Valley Development Resources Group, Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex.