Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Maggie Hart Stebbins: Highlight Of My Time on County Commission
On August 20th, Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins issued the following press release.
Leading the Way on Innovative Bernalillo County/UNM Partnership that Protects North Golf Course from Development
I’m thrilled to share with you exciting news of an event that will always stand out as a highlight of my first three years as a Bernalillo County Commissioner-- This past week, I had the privilege of joining Jack Fortner, President of the UNM Board of Regents; UNM President Dr. Robert Frank; and leaders from UNM Area neighborhoods to celebrate an outstanding accomplishment -- the approval of a partnership that will preserve the UNM North Golf Course as Open Space!
Saving the North Course has been a top priority for me from my first day on the Commission and I’m overjoyed that concerned neighborhood and community leaders and UNM Officials worked with me to find a solution that protects the last, best open space in our part of the county.
Both the Board of Regents and the County Commission approved an agreement that allows the County to dedicate $1.5 million from our Open Space budget in exchange for a 15-year conservation easement on the 80-acre North Course property. The County’s investment will fund installing a new, more efficient irrigation system, replacing aging trees and landscaping, and improving the very popular pedestrian path along the perimeter of the course.
The University and the County leveraged our respective resources to engage in a partnership that is truly a win-win-win for everyone involved. The 80-acre course provides a host of environmental and recreational benefits -- the new irrigation system alone will save an estimated 20 million gallons of precious groundwater every year, at a time when our water resources are threatened on a number of fronts.
And I am pleased that the residents of District 3, who have faithfully contributed to the County Open Space program, finally have a property that is within easy reach of our neighborhoods.
In these days when partisanship and turf battles seem to paralyze our governments, I’m especially proud of this partnership because it demonstrates how local leaders can do great things for the community when we work together. I hope that it will serve as a model for future collaboration between governments in this region.
Also this past week, at dusk, I paid a visit to the North Course. As I walked my dogs, with the 70-year-old elms arching above me, I joined at least a hundred other residents who were doing the very same thing – children and parents, kids with soccer balls and dogs and runners - dozens of people just like me who were taking advantage of the peacefulness of that open space. It was a beautiful sight and I felt very proud to have had a part in preserving that experience for years to come.
As always, I am grateful for your support that gave me the opportunity!