Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Announcing the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge launches new program to help residents build wildlife habitat across the region

October 1, 2019

Contact(s):

Aryn LaBrake, Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, 505-401-0455
(cell), aryn@friendsofvalledeoro.org
Aislinn Maestas, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 505-331-9280 (cell),
mailto:aislinn_maestas@fws.gov


The Build Your Refuge event included hands-on habitat restoration in the wetlands at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Aislinn Maestas, USFWS.

The Build Your Refuge event included hands-on habitat restoration in the wetlands at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Aislinn Maestas/USFWS Credit: Aislinn Maestas, USFWS

Albuquerque, NM — On Saturday, visitors at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) learned how to turn their backyards into functioning habitat for the area’s birds, bees, insects and wildlife. At the Build Your Refuge Day event, attendees learned how to turn any outdoor space—be it a garden, entire yard, or even a balcony—into a haven for wildlife.

“Building habitat in your own backyard or patio is a great way to actively care for and support local wildlife,” said Jennifer Owen-White, Refuge Manager at Valle de Oro NWR. “More than 30 partners from around the city and state, spearheaded by the Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, have come together around this concept to create the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program and provide resources, workshops, and support for residents to make changes on their property to better support wildlife.”

The event included workshops and information for attendees to learn how to garden for wildlife. Attendees also participated in hands-on habitat restoration in the first wetlands at Valle de Oro NWR.

The ABQ Backyard Refuge Program is a regionally specific program for the Middle Rio Grande Valley, including the Albuquerque-metro area. More than 30 partners from across the city and state came together to develop an education guide, which includes all the necessary concepts for creating wildlife habitat at home. The guide also has information for residents on how to support sustainable practices on private property in Albuquerque. Following the launch event, partners will continue to host workshops to help support residents in building connector habitats around Valle de Oro NWR and in the urban landscape of Albuquerque. This winter, partners plan to launch a certification component, where residents can certify any space they convert to wildlife
habitat and in turn, get a sign for their yard plus other perks.

For more information, visit ABQbackyardrefuge.org to download the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program Education Guide.

Founded in 2011, the Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is a membership organization that works to help shape and support the development of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and foster a community conservation ethic by promoting environmental and cultural awareness through public educational programs and recreational opportunities.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.