Water harvesting strategies have made human habitation and agriculture possible in New Mexico since time immemorial. All along, foot trails have accompanied constructed water infrastructure. El Camino Real Academy commemorates the system of foot trails that carried migrants from Mexico City into the northern stretches of the Rio Grande region during Spanish colonization in the Americas. Travel routes followed the life-giving waters of the river and connecting irrigation channels, or acequias. The school’s proximity to the Rio Grande and historic acequias offers the opportunity to connect outdoor learning with the ongoing agricultural traditions of, as well as the river’s natural and social ecology.
This project proposes a light touch approach to managing campus stormwater as an asset for beautification, learning, and play. This approach can extend outward into the community, activating existing pathways along Isleta Boulevard in the South Valley of Albuquerque, NM.
Walking routes improved with green infrastructure and low impact design can redirect the energy of stormwater while highlighting local heritage, culture, ecology, and landscape experiences. Have a closer look.