Prior to my arrival in Albuquerque earlier this week to participate in the BeeSWeek 2013: Scientific and Community Panel Forums, I had no idea that the Rio Grande ran through New Mexico. I had only ever pictured it along the Texas border.

On the way to lunch I passed a sign for the Rio Grande Nature Center, and having heard that this was a great place to bird–and being my usual compulsively early self for lunch, I realized I had some time to spare so I happily followed the sign to the Rio Grande Nature Center.

I had been a little disappointed that there was hardly any native plants of New Mexico to be found at the Botanic Garden, so imagine my surprise to find a beautiful native plant garden lovingly tended by volunteers at this nature center!

The Rio Grande Nature Center is a nature reserve located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is a wildlife sanctuary that covers over 300 acres of wetlands, forests, and meadows, providing a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species, including birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

The center provides visitors with the opportunity to explore nature and learn about the environment through educational programs, guided walks, and other activities. Visitors can hike along the nature center’s trails, observe wildlife from viewing blinds, and participate in bird-watching and wildlife photography.

The Rio Grande Nature Center also provides valuable research and conservation opportunities, supporting the study of wildlife and the habitats they rely on. The center’s wetland and riparian habitats are critical for the survival of many species, and the center works to protect and restore these habitats through monitoring, research, and habitat management practices.

In addition to its educational and conservation programs, the Rio Grande Nature Center also offers volunteer opportunities, allowing individuals to contribute to the protection and restoration of the area’s natural resources.

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