Project Description

Rio Fernando Park Master Plan

Groundwork Studio worked with the Taos Land Trust and several multi-disciplinary project partners to develop this master plan, including community engagement facilitation and action through design. The resulting Rio Fernando Park provides a unique regional resource, demonstrating a diverse community’s capacity to collaboratively create public space that supports thriving interactions between natural and cultural ecosystems.

The park master planning process occurred simultaneously with an NRPA grant funded wetlands and river restoration project that addressed significant water quality and quantity concerns within the Rio Fernando. Our team worked with a number of riparian habitat specialists to balance planning for river and wetlands access without compromising the river ecosystems’ health and integrity.

The Rio Fernando property represents a valuable intersection of natural riparian habitat and traditional agricultural lands. The master plan provides opportunities for demonstrating traditional agricultural practices alongside recreation and preservation associated with the property’s acequia and watershed.

The park provides critical access to prescription trails and other recreational opportunities, building ecological literacy, community wellness, social interaction and creative expression. Integrating citizen science into the park’s design and physical fabric provides iterative learning and continuous community service through hands-on experience.

Taos Land Trust:



Taos, NM


Taos Land Trust

Year Completed



2019 APA-NM Innovation in Planning Award


Master Planning
Landscape Architecture
Site Design
Pop Up Events
Hands On Engagement
Creative Placemaking

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