High quality open space provides not only valuable habitat but a variety of recreational opportunities that are increasingly being recognized for their economic development potential. New methods are being developed to manage stormwater in ways that mimic natural processes and can improve water quality, provide pockets of habitat, and contribute to livable, walkable communities. This is known as Green Infrastructure or Low Impact Development. An example in current practice is leaving arroyos in their natural state as opposed to lining them with concrete. The City co-hosted a regional conference on Green Infrastructure in August 2010, and the summary report on that conference is forthcoming.
The City is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to restore habitat on lands east of the Las Cruces flood control dam. This would not only accommodate numerous riparian species that are uncommon outside of the Rio Grande vicinity, but would also provide a wonderful recreation opportunity near a fast growing area of our community.