Santa Rosa Power Dam Park

Santa Rosa Power Dam Park

El Rito Street Santa Rosa, New Mexico 88435

Official Website

About this Location

Janes-Wallace Memorial Park and Power Dam were built in 1929, made from concrete and other earthen materials, on the outskirts of Santa Rosa on El Rito Creek. It’s a spring-fed lake that originally covered nine acres; making it a significant aquatic habitat in the region.

Thanks to the water pressure and depth, it was established as a power dam to produce hydroelectric power to the nearby cities. For several decades, the power dam ran successfully until being damaged.

A flood breached the power dam during a storm in 1999. For years, it was left unrepaired, causing the water to resettle in its current position. The damage reshaped the entire landscape of the Janes-Wallace Memorial Park – the reservoir pool held behind the dam resettled into the current spot; the lake size decreased from nine acres to four acres. Wild vegetation continues to grow surrounding the lake.

The power dam damage also greatly affected the local economy. With no electricity produced, a lot of jobs and money were lost in the process.

There have been plans to restore the dam and the habitat, although talks continue for now more than 20 years. The plan is a multi-million-dollar project to redevelop the aquatic habitat and beautify the area surrounding the dam. It’s frequently proposed in legislative bills, but never gets the needed support from officials.

Content from Official Website