UNM North Golf Course
UNM North Golf Course

Plans to rehabilitate the trail area around the UNM North Golf Course are beginning to move. In May, the UNM Board of Regents will be asked to consider a contract for an architectural team to design the irrigation system improvements and the landscape alternations.

In the meantime UNM is preparing the area. Lisa Marbury strategic planner for UNM Institutional Support Services says that dead trees around the course have been removed and some tree trimming has already been completed.

Last year, UNM Regents approved an agreement with Bernalillo County that gave the UNM $1.5 million from the County's Open Space fund in exchange for a conservation easement on the 80-acre North Course property. UNM's license agreement with Bernalillo County allows the trail around the golf course to be used as county open space in return for a $1.5 million payment from the county.  The money will be used for design and improvements to the golf course irrigation system which was built in the 1940's. Additional trees will be planted and combined with other landscaping.

"The North Golf Course is a valuable urban Open Space for not just the University community but for all of Bernalillo County," District 3 Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins said. "It's exciting to see the planning and preparation work underway and I'm looking forward to the many improvements scheduled for the coming year."

There are also plans to improve portions of the trail system around the perimeter of the golf course for walkers and runners. Some areas of the trail are informal and need to be more clearly marked, Project Manager Maria Dion says.

The new trail design will comply with National Collegiate Athletic Association requirements for cross country conference and championship events. UNM and county leaders will hold an open house so members of the community can give feedback on the design of the trail improvements in June, but no date has been set.

Sara Koplik, president of the North Campus Neighborhood Association says, "I am delighted that the university, the county and the neighborhood are working together to bring the first significant improvements to the golf course in many decades.  Preserving and protecting this cherished green space enhances our community. Working together, we achieve so much more."

Plans will be drawn and completed over the summer and the course will be closed in late fall so the actual improvements can be done. The course and trail system is expected to reopen in Feb. 2014.

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; email: kwent2@unm.edu