Rio Grande Nature Center

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Rio Grande Nature Center — Albuquerque

  Approximately two to three miles from downtown Albuquerque and Old Town, nature lovers can walk in a woodland containing one of the most magnificent remaining stands of Rio Grande cottonwood trees in the world. These 50- to 100-foot trees form the canopy of the bosque, the green ribbon that threads north-south between the Rio Grande and the riverside ditch slightly east of it. Easy access to this urban forest is found right here, at the Rio Grande Nature Center and the 166-acre preserve of which it is a part, both the product of an effort to re-establish and protect the fragile habitats along the river.
  The innovative visitor's center, created by architect Antoine Predock, highlights the importance of the Rio Grande in the life of Albuquerque. There are many instructive exhibits on a wide range of subjects, including the geological history of the area. Even more pleasant is a quiet stroll around one of the three ponds or a nature walk that could involve watching turtles, muskrats, or perhaps a snake go about their normal routines unaware of the presence of humans. Trails down to the river can be found to the west, while another path due east will take you back to the hubbub of the city.

Obvious exits:
Albuquerque Biopark <SE>  Menaul Blvd <E>  Trails <W>  

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A small wooden sign reads: "The Rio Grande Nature Center has been designated a New Mexico Watchable Wildlife site! Find out more at our website,!"

Discovery Pond, constructed in 1995, offers a new educational dimension of the Center's programs. It provides opportunities for a hands-on approach to nature, where visitors may conduct water tests, view aquatic life under the microscope and study aquatic life up close. Redwinged blackbirds, grebes, the kingfisher, mallards, wood ducks, Canada geese, and — possibly — a heron might be seen or heard.