History & Mission

The Open Space Alliance is a nonprofit group of volunteers working with the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division to enhance our quality of life through:

  • Increasing awareness of Open Space lands
  • Building and strengthening partnerships with groups who share Open Space values
  • Promoting conservation, acquisition and stewardship of Open Space lands
  • Strengthening volunteerism and community outreach programs
  • Providing financial support

Member support, memorial and other donations, and fundraising activities help support special programs and events aimed at preserving and promoting Open Space lands.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT: OSA will enhance the experiences of all users of Albuquerque Open Space lands by providing financial support for Open Space programs; by advocating for sustainability and expansion of Open Space programs; and by encouraging increased public involvement with and use of Open Space lands.

Board of Directors



Board member since 2008. Steve Glass is currently serving as President of the OSA. Steve graduated from NM State University in 1976 with an MS in Environmental Science and pursued a career in water and wastewater resources, until retiring from Bernalillo County in December 2011 to become a biology instructor at CNM. He continues to represent Bernalillo County on the Water Protection Advisory Board, serves as Chairman of the Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District and has been an Open Space Trail Watch Volunteer for several years.

Email: president@openspacealliance.org

Kent Swanson


Kent Swanson has served as an Alliance board member since 2021. He was born and raised in Albuquerque. Kent developed a love of outdoor recreation and the natural world while hiking, backpacking, cross country skiing and canoeing with his family in diverse areas of the Southwest. Kent holds a master's degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico. He has worked locally and internationally in a variety of projects including municipal development, environmental conservation, and art education. Kent served as a Municipal Development Volunteer in Peace Corps Honduras from 2002-2004 and worked at the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division first as a Planner and then as the Manager of the City of Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center (OSVC) before taking a position with Bernalillo County as Project Coordinator.

Email: vice-president@openspacealliance.org

Jeannie Allen


A Board member since 2023, Jeannie's love of nature has always been fundamental to her life and career choices. Her connection to New Mexico landscapes began in 1972 with the purchase of 33 acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains south of Angel Fire. In the 1980's after exploring northern California, she moved to Washington DC and for 15 years worked as a Picture Editor and Writer for the National Geographic Society's Educational Media Division. Subsequently, after several years of doing freelance education projects and managing a native wetland plants nursery, Jeannie became an educator for NASA Earth-observing satellites at Goddard Space Flight Center. There she spent 20 years learning and teaching about what we can see and do with data from remote sensing on regional and global scales. Now back in New Mexico, she is retired and leads the volunteer group, Friends of Candelaria Nature Preserve, a Committee of the Open Space Alliance, through which she is getting to know some of the extraordinary people of New Mexico who care for the land in different ways.

Lance Chilton


Lance Chilton grew up hiking and skiing with his family in the Sierra Nevadas, and then spent four summers as a seasonal park ranger in wonderful western parks. A retired pediatrician, Lance's life is now devoted to volunteering, especially outdoors, where he loves to hike and bike. He and his wife Kathy have lived near the Rio Grande Nature Center for the last 49 years, where the Bosque is a treasured "back yard."

William Pentler


I grew up in Wisconsin fascinated by animals and nature. I have degrees in Zoology and Psychology and after college, I became a lead zookeeper at Lion Country Safari in Florida for more than 8 years and also was the Education Coordinator at the park for 5 of those years. I moved to Albuquerque in 1995 and worked at the Rio Grande Zoo for a few years, then shifted to State Parks as a Law Enforcement State Park Ranger and Park Naturalist at Fenton Lake in the Jemez Mountains for over 3 years. I moved back to Albuquerque and started working for the City again at the Animal Shelters as a Supervisor. After 2 years I was lucky enough to transfer to the Open Space Division and recently retired after working with them for 17 years. I am an avid photographer and was recently accepted as a board member to the Open Space Alliance.


The Board of Directors publishes an Annual Report to keep members informed of Open Space Alliance activities and accomplishments. Below you will find the more recent reports.

Memorial Bench Program

The Open Space Alliance, in coordination with the Open Space Division, administrates the Memorial Bench Program for placement of memorial benches to honor individuals, families and organizations throughout Major Public Open Spaces. For more information, please email info@openspacealliance.org.

You can also download a PDF with information about:

  • Memorial Bench Location and Placement
  • Memorial Bench Choices
  • Plaque guidelines
  • Memorial Maintenance
  • Expenses


Friends of Candelaria Nature Preserve

Friends of Candelaria Nature Preserve, a group of volunteers, serves as a guiding body for non-governmental support of projects to build and maintain the ecological health and educational activities of the Candelaria Nature Preserve, in accordance with the Resource Management Plan of 2021 and in collaboration with the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division.

Our Volunteers:

  • Work in the fields of the Preserve every Friday morning year ‘round;
  • Hold monthly meetings online, with special presentations about aspects of rewilding the Preserve;
  • Develop Interpretive programs, waystations and exhibits;
  • Lead monthly guided public tours;
  • Raise funds for the Preserve.

Join us, it's free!

About Our Logo

Open Space Alliance logo

The challenge of designing a logo for the Albuquerque Open Space Alliance is our open spaces encompass so many environments: wetlands, farms, high deserts, canyons, foothills and city. How do you capture all that variety in a single image? Including icons for each creates a lot of clutter and loss of message. So the logo tries to capture location and healthy environment. Hoping the location will suggest the urban interface.

The mountains are a stylized outline of Sandia Crest and identifies place & nature. The cranes, while seasonal, represent a success in wildlife management and are closely tied to Aldo Leopold, an Albuquerque resident. The cranes are also an indicator species for healthy wetlands. The images of mountains and cranes capture location and healthy environments.