The goal of the Atrisco Acequia Madre project is to develop a plan for an educational, outdoor site near Central Avenue and the Rio Grande River to celebrate the acequia culture and to protect & preserve the agricultural traditions of the Rio Grande Valley. This project is a collaboration between Bernalillo County, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD), the City of Albuquerque, the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA), the South Valley Regional Association of Acequias (SVRRA) and CESSOS (Center for Social Sustainable Systems).
On the west side of the river, across from the Albuquerque BioPark, is the heading of the Atrisco Acequia, originating from the Acequia Madre de Atrisco, one of the oldest irrigation canals in the United States. In order to share the history of acequia culture and the role the acequias have played in the valley through the years, four agencies have formed a partnership to fund a planning effort to create a conceptual site plan. This planning effort will provide recommendations for connections from the west side of the river to the east as well as connections from the north side of Central to the South Valley. Improvements may include educational and recreational use of the Open Space through a system of trails and interpretive sites which will incorporate an historical marker developed by SVRAA and the State Historic Preservation Office.