At its presentation to the Village Council earlier this month the Corrales Interior Drain Committee requested funding to hire a planning consultant to recommend future uses of the ditch between Corrales Road and the river. Preliminary suggestions for the 1.9-mile drainage ditch owned by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District were offered in a power point presentation by the committee’s chairman, Doug Findley.

An estimated 26 acres of land in the middle of Corrales could potentially become dedicated green belt, park, wildlife habitat or other uses assuming the MRGCD agrees. The committee has identified three distinct kinds of terrain in and along the ditch at this time: dry, or xeric, water zones and areas where ponds can be developed.

In the presentation, the pond zone is described as “a calm and relaxing gathering space [that] might include bridges and viewpoints for the community,” while the water zone would be the wet part of the existing ditch that “could be used for community activities and support the central Corrales Road section of Corrales.”

The entire ditch is already a “green corridor” which “connects the Corrales Bosque Preserve into the heart of the community. Corraleños currently use the ditch banks as trails for running, biking, horse riding, fishing, walking to school and more. The ditch banks will support these activities and could provide seating areas, trains and connections to nature. The green corridor provides ecological benefits for many birds and animal species by providing habitat and food sources.”

The presentation to the council included a proposal to establish a public butterfly garden that would establish a connection to Native American heritage related to the Corrales area. The people of Santa Ana Pueblo referred to this area as “the place of butterflies.”

According to the committee, “We envision the butterfly plants along the length of the ditch, a thematic constant in the master plan design.” The committee estimates it would cost around $25,000 to produce a master plan for ditch and ditch banks.

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