As a former state treasurer, I take a particular interest in initiatives that are revenue generators for our community. And as a lifelong New Mexican, I take great interest in seeing revenue invested in things that will pay a return for our children, our quality of life, our economy, the environment and our future.
This is why I was one of the five city residents who initiated the petition to support major renovations and improvements at the BioPark.
While I see this beloved facility as an economic engine for tourism and investment, I also see it as a hub for education and world class conservation.
For our children, the BioPark brings the world to them. It inspires young imaginations and educates over 80,000 kids per year with school tied curricula on the environment and how our actions matter for the future of our world.
The BioPark is also involved in protecting our environment directly, in particular for endangered species of animals, plants and sea life.
Our zoo sets the pace for breeding of the highly endangered snow leopard. There are also species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and much more which potentially owe their existence to the work being done at our very own BioPark.
Albuquerque voters put the BioPark revenue question on the ballot because the community understands the educational and cultural benefits this facility brings to our city. There will be no question as to how the money will be utilized because the language was carefully crafted to ensure that all dollars will be spent on improvements for our zoo, aquarium, botanic garden and Tingley Beach.
In times with many pressing needs and priorities, the BioPark is one investment with multiple returns.
When you also consider the estimated $33 million per year in tourism dollars to Albuquerque, and the urgency of an overhaul to forego the spiraling costs of maintaining depleted infrastructure, supporting the BioPark on this October’s ballot makes great sense.
I hope you’ll join me plus other civic minded Albuquerqueans and vote for the BioPark.
And please note the question is the very last item – on page 2 – of the ballot.