The goal of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Connecting People with Nature” program is to provide communities with enjoyable and meaningful experiences related to the outdoors. To meet this goal, NMFWCO implemented an outreach program to further interact with the community and provide public educational opportunities. Outreach events target local schools and community members of all ages within the greater Albuquerque area. Additionally, NMFWCO highlights field projects throughout New Mexico and hopes to encourage an overall interest in natural resources.
Native Fish in the Classroom Project (NFIC)
Additionally, staff coordinate NFIC in the greater Albuquerque area. This program works with local elementary and middle schools by providing them curriculum, aquariums, native fish and biologist support. After a period of 4-5 months, the students have the opportunity to release these fish into their native range. Each year participating classrooms are provided with New Mexico’s state fish, the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, or with native fishes of the Middle Rio Grande. The program aims to generate enthusiasm for natural resources and foster a sense of stewardship for native fish and their habitats.
Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Sanctuary, Outdoor Education Center
The Sanctuary is one of the Refugia designed to assist with increasing the population of endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows. Specifically, the Sanctuary provides secondary habitat to enable silvery minnows to complete the growth cycle before they are released into the wild. Located in the Rio Grande bosque just south of Bridge and 2nd street, the Sanctuary provide a unique opportunity for an urban outdoor classroom setting. Site activities include birding, trails, seining, water quality studies, and Biologist in Training program.