The Boys Pond is located in the Rio Grande bosque in Belen, New Mexico, approximately 30 miles south of Albuquerque, NM on lands owned and managed by the MRGCD. The Boys Pond was once a popular recreation area in the bosque of Valencia County created by the City of Belen. The pond also provides rare wetland habitat for wildlife including birds, turtles, fish, and frogs. Years of neglect led to the pond becoming choked with non-native vegetation, trash and construction waste. In 1999, through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the MRGCD began rehabilitation of the site through removal non-native trees and deadwood from around the pond. Several truck loads of construction waste, tires and other trash were also removed.
In 2000, the MRGCD installed gates at levee road access points to control access to the site and prevent future trash dumping while still allowing pedestrian, equestrian and bicycle access. In 2002 and 2003 the MRGCD Belen Division Office re-sloped the pond to reclaim some of the loop road and make the elevation more conducive to planting. In the fall and winter 2003-04, the MRGCD, contractors and volunteers planted native trees and shrubs, wetland plants and seeded native grasses around the pond. Volunteers also helped create vegetation barriers to prevent ATV use.
The MRGCD plans to continue restoration of this important site by improving hydrology for aquatic habitat. The pond is fed by subsurface water and levels fluctuate according to flows in the adjacent riverside drain and/or the Rio Grande. The MRGCD is currently contracting a wetland construction and management firm to create a long-term aquatic management plan for the Boys Pond