Public to weigh in on BioPark master plan

ALBUQUERQUE (KASA) – It’s always a good time for anyone who heads out to one of the BioPark facilities. Now visitors have a chance to weigh in on new changes to one of the city’s biggest attractions.

There’s an informational meeting Thursday night where public input will be taken on a new master plan.

“This is an exciting time in the BioPark. We haven’t had one of these master plans for decades,” said Rick Janser of the BioPark.

Make that nearly 40 years. The last major master plan for the zoo alone was around 1975.

An old map shows a wish list of exhibits officials wanted to bring in at the time. That included an aquarium in the middle of the zoo and even having exhibits in the Bosque across from the zoo.

Of course, those never came to be. The aquarium was eventually built, but on property northwest of the zoo.

One thing zoo officials are looking at now is a new transportation system, instead of just having the train.

“Right now, we have a train that connects all the facilities. There’s a capacity limitation where we only have two trains that you can only go one direction, about 200 travelers per hour, so it kind of limits how many combo tickets we can sell and how many people can get from facility to facility,” Janser said, adding the train is an hour round trip. The new transportation system would be much faster, only taking 10 to 15 minutes out of visitors’ day at the park.

Officials are still gathering input before finalizing plans, but it’s critical for people to add their ideas, Janser said.

“It’s important for the future of the BioPark to make sure we have a road map of where we – as the BioPark, the city and the citizens of Albuquerque – where they want to go,” Janser said.

The public input meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Barelas Senior Center, 714 7th Street Southwest.