The owner of what was once a golf course in Rio Rancho has made an agreement with a nonprofit to preserve certain ponds.
The property of what was last known as Club Rio Rancho Golf Course and Country Club has been vacant for several years. Plans to build housing on part of the property and restore 18 of the 27 holes of the golf course stalled as lawsuits were filed over those plans and over city code violations regarding weeds.
Land Development 2 LLC, operated by developer Josh Skarsgard, owns the land. Desert Oasis Nature Park Inc. is a New Mexico nonprofit corporation and has agreed to preserve the remaining ponds and a walking trail surrounding The Islands subdivision on the east side of the golf course as a nature park off Eastlake Drive, according to a news release from Skarsgard.
He has pledged to donate about 36 acres of land to become the park. The Islands Home Owners Association previously agreed to take responsibility for maintaining the ponds.
Desert Oasis Park will continue to use recycled water from the City of Rio Rancho Utilities Department to replenish the ponds, according to the release.
The nonprofit will enter into a new discharge permit with the New Mexico Environment Department to govern the discharge of the reclaimed water into the ponds.
The land donation will occur after approval of a redevelopment master plan and recording of a subdivision plat upon the Club Rio Rancho property. The master plan will be submitted in April, with approval of the plan and recording of the plat finished this summer, according to the release.
“Land Development 2 LLC is thankful to the residents of the Islands HOA and the Board of Directors of the Desert Oasis Nature Park Inc., including President Jim Sutherlin, for their creativity and vision to help preserve the ponds to be enjoyed by the community,” Skarsgard said in the release.
According to the nonprofit’s website, the park is mean for preservation, recreation and education.
In addition, Skarsgard plans to donate over 170 acres of former golf course land to the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority.
“The terms have not yet been reached with SSCAFCA, but we are hopeful an agreement can be reached this spring,” he said in the release.
For more information about the park and nonprofit, visit