What started as a dream in 2009 for the city of Rio Rancho by Jennie Schulte Riedl, Community Chairwoman for the Rio Rancho Rotary, is now a reality!
Jennie was on a visit to Lakeland, Florida, when she came upon a park that was full of hills and color and filled with people. This ADA park, as she discovered was called “Common Ground” and had just opened. Reaching out to Parks Director Bill Tinsley, for more information, she brought the idea of building such a park in our community to The Rotary Club of Rio Rancho. With a tremendous amount of support from Rotary, Jennie began making appointments with the then-Mayor Tom Swisstack, and Parks and Recreation Director Jay Hart. They all felt that this would be a great project for the State of New Mexico and the City of Rio Rancho.
Fundraising efforts and awareness for the Park began in May of 2010 at Haynes Park. On October 12th, 2013, after finding a great location, 2441 Westside Court in Rio Rancho, just off Westside Blvd, the Ground Breaking ceremonies took place. The ceremony was a great success and attended by Governor Susana Martinez, several dignitaries, community leaders and residents. In January of 2014, construction began to build this incredible park in the City of Rio Rancho! RMCI General Contractors installed the underground infrastructure and Joiner’s Construction began moving the land and setting the retaining wall. Everyone who has helped create A Park Above did so by donating time, labor, funds and equipment. This was truly a community project for the State of New Mexico! A VERY special thank you to ALL who worked on this project and made it a REALITY!
With all the contributions- both monetary and in-kind- all of the volunteers and the City of Rio Rancho, this amazing dream has almost come full circle. A Park Above was officially opened on May 26th, 2016. The soft opening was February 19th, 2016. With your help, this has become a reality. A very special thank you to the A Park Above Board and Board of Advisors!
Your donations are very important! Everything has a life expectancy and it is important to have funds available to repair, replace or renew equipment for A Park Above to continue to be wonderful for YOU to enjoy. Our goal is to have the Perpetual Fund available for the City of Rio Rancho when funds are needed. Please get involved by donating today — remember that all donations are tax deductible because A Park Above is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.