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Belen Marsh

Birding in New Mexico

Belen Marsh
Belen, New Mexico 87002
Belen Marsh webpage

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Valencia County

Belen Marsh
Coordinates: 34.694522, -106.773237
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About Belen Marsh
The wetland is 16.5 acres located along Don Felipe Road, just south of Belen’s I-25 Bypass and near Taco Bell/Pizza Hut Express.

It is a depressional wetland, artificially created when soil from the area was taken for local road construction projects. Because the regional water table is just below the land’s surface, excavation caused water to pool and form a wetland.

The wetland is managed by the Valencia Fair Association, a nonprofit organization, which would like to use the property to support its county fair activities, including the expansion of parking. The association began backfilling the marsh in May 2008.

Valencia County organizations and residents have joined together as the Belen Marsh Committee, with support from the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, to preserve the wetland in a way that meets the needs of the Valencia Fair Association, nearby residents, and businesses.

Artificially created when soil from the area was used for local road and overpass construction projects, the marsh became a depressional wetland because the regional water table is just below the land’s surface. Soil excavation caused water to pool and form a wetland in the early 1990s.

Belen Marsh has become a winter home for migratory waterfowl and a springtime nesting site for a number of species of large migratory wading birds. It is an important stop on the Central Flyway for migratory birds, particularly shorebirds. It is one of the few suitable wetlands where shorebirds can stop on their long journey from the arctic to Central and South America in the fall.

Today the marsh is an attraction for local and statewide birders, who come to Belen and the marsh to see the birds that visit and nest.
From Belen Marsh webpage