Gregg Hull

If you have driven on NM 528 recently, you may have noticed some updated banners signaling that the City of Rio Rancho’s 40th anniversary celebration is already underway.

This year looks a little different in terms of celebratory gatherings, but that won’t stop us from commemorating our 40 years of history and accomplishments.

It is no surprise that Rio Rancho has a unique and colorful history that extends prior to 1981, but the dream of what a small community of visionaries could be was realized on Feb. 23, 1981. At that time, Rio Rancho was made up of fewer than 10,000 residents who moved to the area in search of a good place to raise a family and quick access to a big city.

Fast forward 40 years, and that little city that could has grown to almost 100,000 residents and become one of the fastest-growing cities in the Southwest, with two state-of-the-art health care campuses, excellent quality-of-life amenities and one of the best school districts in the state.

To accomplish this much growth in such a short time is no small feat. Our residents have been instrumental in supporting the city’s programs and initiatives like the general obligation bonds and citizen-engagement efforts that move our community forward.

Additionally, city staff members are responsible for providing the excellent service our residents have come to expect, which contributes to Rio Rancho being recognized as an award-winning community. I could not be more proud to be a part of and represent our wonderful community.

Throughout the year, we will have multiple opportunities for citizens to help celebrate our city. Right now, if you visit, you can take part in telling your very own Rio Rancho story, participating in creating a digital scrapbook and supporting local eateries and winning prizes.

Soon to come will be a scavenger hunt, the openings of the new Campus Park and senior center at City Center, opportunities for live events and even a tree-lighting ceremony to round out the year.

Please visit the city’s website to keep up to date on our 40th anniversary events and activities.