This large refuge along the Rio Grande spans more than 57,000 acres of managed wetlands, foothills, mountains and desert wilderness. It is also a popular destination for migrating bird populations and human visitors for hiking, bird watching and nature photography. With its accessible trails and many observation decks, the refuge offers a rich and diverse visitor experience that was not reflected inside the existing visitor center.
To provide a more engaging environmental education experience, Malone designed and fabricated a new exhibition which tells the story of the refuge, its habitats and wildlife, and how Bosque del Apache carefully manages the land and water on the refuge for migrating birds. Utilizing large, vivid murals and unique hands-on interactives, the new visitor center prepares and encourages visitors to explore the refuge. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a hand-painted, 2D-layered diorama of the refuge which features fun, pop-up animal animations. Visitors can watch a roadrunner catch a lizard, a mountain lion chase a mule deer, and cranes fly through the clouds as they learn about the refuge’s diverse habitats and wildlife