Westsides Rancho Encantado Park The Little Park With a Lot To Offer
Rancho Encantado Park is not very large–it sits at just over 1.75 acres–and it doesn’t have soccer or football fields carved out for ready-made games. And it’s not easy to find: if you live off sparsely-populated Quaker Heights or Milne Roads–like the residents in the Rancho Encantado condo community–you would pass it, but the rest of the West Side population does not. Rancho Encantado Park does have a nice playground for the kiddies, which is great for the heavy population of youngsters in the area.
What the park does have is wonderful mature trees that provide excellent shade in the hot summer months, and it has over an acre of cooling grass. With so much concrete poured for parking lots, an acre & a half of cool grass can greatly help the immediate environment.
Urban Heat Islands are caused by dark or massively solid surfaces, which absorb/collect heat, then release that heat at night; asphalt, concrete and tar are good examplesthink of large paved parking lots, tar and gravel roofs and concrete arroyos and buildings. A lack of vegetation is another reason for UHI effects: with fewer trees, cities lose essential cooling effect and valuable shade; and the removal of carbon dioxide, created by the trees, adds to the temperature rise.
The MetroABQ’s Westside Petroglyph National Monument is an amazing greenspace that minimizes the Urban Heat Island Effect on the West Side. Rancho Encantado Park is a little park, but every little bit helps…