Groundwork Studio was honored to receive the New Mexico Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NM) 2019 award for “Innovation in Planning” for our work with the Taos Land Trust on the Rio Fernando Park Master Plan. We accepted the award during the Western Planner Conference reception in Santa Fe in September.

This project demonstrates a diverse community’s capacity to collaboratively create public space that supports thriving interactions between natural and cultural ecosystems. Our team took a unique and playful approach to community engagement, weaving participation into every aspect of the site analysis, planning, design and implementation process. Many of the plan recommendations have already been implemented – a priority established in direct response to the community’s planning fatigue.

Community members are able to directly see and experience the physical improvements their input guided. The park provides active living opportunities alongside experience of cultural heritage, community wellness, social interaction and creative expression. We are grateful to have been part of a process that places community service at the forefront, providing iterative learning and continuous stewardship through hands on experience.

Special thanks to the Taos Land Trust and members of our design team, including Keystone Restoration Ecology, Rio Chiquito Research and Consulting, Sound Tree and Henry Architects.