Welcome to the 2019 Pre-Summit GSI Field Trip

SSCAFCA Headquarters Site

The Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) has long been an advocate for low impact design and how proper implementation of low impact design can help with not just water conservation by harvesting the resources that fall from the sky, but also with stormwater quality, by reducing the volume and rate of discharge from a site and providing for the removal of pollutants by natural means. When went to expand its headquarters building in 2009, the Board of Directors of SSCAFCA wanted to put our money where our mouth was and requested that the architect design and have constructed a LEED Platinum certified building.

As one would expect, the LEED design and construction included everything from energy efficiency, to use of renewable energy, to usage of recycled and sustainable materials during building construction. However, being that the agency had a keen interest in being an example of Low Impact Development (LID), the architect incorporated many LID elements into the site design. These elements include: usage of roof top stormwater capture and storage, directing rooftop drainage to planting beds, using permeable surfaces for parking lots, native landscape, and bioswales. For the past eight years, the site has matured and proven to be an excellent example of how site design and incorporation of LID features can be sustainable and beautiful. www.sscafca.com

Dave Gatterman, P.E SSCFCA Facility Operations Director dgatterman@sscafca.com

Calabacillas Arroyo Facility Plan

The Calabacillas Grade Control Structure 1a1 was identified in the Calabacillas Arroyo Facility Plan and is located just downstream of Swinburne Dam, a major flood control basin in Albuquerque. The Calabacillas Arroyo is a major arroyo in the northwest Albuquerque metropolitan area. The lower portion of the arroyo has been controlled to allow use as a flood control structure. Bank protection and grade control structures are used to keep the arroyo confined within the erosion setbacks and protect the adjoining development. A series of hydraulic studies established and refined the erosion setbacks and the required structures needed to keep the arroyo within those erosion limits. The grade control structures not only control the vertical erosion, but also improve water quality by providing an equilibrium for sediment load within the arroyo. The last hydraulic study, the Calabacillas Arroyo Facility Plan, looked at the possible impact of a sediment retention structure upstream of the study area. Grade Control Structure 1a1 was designed to establish the new grade within the arroyo with the sediment retention structure in place.

Craig Hoover < Choover@bhinc.com >

Patrick Chavez < pchavez@amafca.org >

Bachechi Open Space

Purchased in 1999, the Bachechi property is 27 acres of fertile valley farmland located at 9521 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, just south and east of the adjacent 8-acre Alameda Open Space that is owned and operated by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division. With extensive community input and comments, a balanced master plan for the two adjacent properties that promotes non-competitive recreational uses and environmental educational opportunities was developed. Wildlife viewing, hiking, multi-use trails, improved and dedicated equestrian parking, xeric and native landscaping, an expanded pecan tree orchard, a memorial rose garden dedicated to the Bachechi Family, an expanded wetland, and an agricultural field to attract migratory water fowl with perennial crops of bluestem, sacaton, lovegrass, and ricegrass have been developed on site. A former commercial nursery on the northern eight acres was carefully redeveloped to keep desirable vegetation, such as fruit trees, some junipers, sycamores, and cottonwood trees, and remove undesirable vegetation such as Siberian Elms. Habitat enhancement for the western screech owl, woodhouse toad, dark-eyed junco, and spotted towhee have also been accomplished by thinning out the arboretum and planting vegetation conducive to these habitats.


The county’s first photovoltaic-powered building was built that accommodates the programming needs of the Open Space program, including its incipient Master Naturalist Program. Interpretive signage on the site’s historical and ecological resources have also been installed throughout the site.

Fourth Street, Los Ranchos

Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Other Drought Resistant Strategies:

The 4th Street Revitalization Project in the Village of Los Ranchos, New Mexico will transform this remnant of old Route 66 into a more complete street for this small municipality in Bernalillo County’s North Valley. From the beginning, the project was intended to increase both economic and environmental sustainability, while creating a hub for civic activities. The Fourth Street project is still under construction and so this tour stop will provide the group with insights into its future with a more legible view of the water conserving aspects of the corridor.

The street underwent an extensive re-design effort, the improvements include permeable brick and pigmented concrete sidewalk where there were just impervious road shoulders, pervious parallel parking and a gutter pan throughout the length of the project, a subsurface drainage system which will feed landscaping through wicks built in each planter in the parkway, and a promenade and bus plazas which will feature edible crops, which will be managed by the village’s farm manager. Plants native to central New Mexico are featured and banks of subsurface gravel and soils provide greater subsurface water holding capacity for the landscape. This innovative project will provide strong examples of LID for streets in the arid southwest.

Smith-Brasher Hall CNM Main Campus

Runoff from the roof, parking lots, and landscape at Smith Brasher Hall at CNM is filtered and can infiltrate in a variety of Green Stormwater Infrastructure features. The southeast parking lot includes two stormwater tree trenches with flush curbs and soil sponges. Water that does not infiltrate in the tree trenches is caught in a series of planted basins along the lowest edge of the lot, and if necessary overflows into a storm drain inlet. Additional parking lot runoff from the SE and North parking lots, and east side of the building enters large bioinfiltration basins. The basins have been seeded and planted with trees, providing a beautiful and cooling landscape amenity. The overdrain in the second basin is raised to allow for a minimum ponding depth in the basins. Soil sponges around trees in the basins improve plant resiliency. Some roof runoff enters the bioinfiltration basins, although most of the roof runoff flows to a rock swale on the north side where a series of check dams and soil sponges encourage infiltration before overflow enters the storm drain system. Overflow from the stormwater tree trenches and bioinfiltration basins has one last opportunity to infiltrate in a basin at the NW corner of the property before entering the storm drain system.

GSI Features include bioinfiltration basins, stormwater tree, trenches, infiltration swale and soil sponges.

Aaron Zahm, MRWM: 505.268.2266

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