Trenza, which is Spanish for “braid” reflects the intrinsically woven land use plan that distinguishes this proposed conservation-based community. The name Trenza speaks to the strength of a diverse and inclusive community—where the interdependency of people, land, water, and wildlife is explicitly acknowledged and celebrated. It also refers to the way water moves through a semi-arid watershed: braided, layered, and interconnected.

Gracefully held by the surrounding red rock hills and ridges in the northeast corner of the Preserve, the proposed village plan for Trenza will serve a broad range of land conservation and community building goals. The mixed-use master-planned community is designed to:

  • directly connect people to the land they inhabit
  • actively employ planning practices and building methods that respect the land and water resources of the region
  • thoughtfully and visibly support the cultural and economic diversity of northern New Mexico

Trenza is designed to support an inclusive, mixed-income community of 275 homes that reflect a variety of housing types and neighborhoods (e.g., town homes, courtyard homes, detached homes, co-housing, elder housing). A tight cluster of residential neighborhoods linked via pathways, neighborhood parks, and alamedas will be anchored by a pedestrian-scale commercial and civic center.

As a model of conservation-based community development, Trenza is planned to leverage the sale of its homes to finance the aquisition and restoration of approximately 13,000 acres of open space.

Educational, civic, and commercial land uses are also planned. Fully realized, Trenza's village center is expected to include a café, general store, post office, business incubator, outpatient care medical facility, fire station, ATM, chapel, environmental center, and live-work commercial space for local artisans and community-based businesses. A dual-language, environmentally focused charter high school is planned to be physically and programmatically integrated into the community. As currently envisioned, the school will support a number of joint-use facilities, including playfields, a library, indoor swimming pool, meeting spaces, and continuing-education classrooms.

At the southern edge of Trenza, a small organic farm, greenhouses, and a "memorial landscape" are proposed. In addition to neighborhood parks, village residents and the general public will have access to 50 miles of planned public and private trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian use.

With its innovative water conservation program, solar-oriented site plan, and "healthy buildings" construction standards, Trenza is designed to be a standard bearer of green development in the realm of conservation-development in the American Southwest.

Village Progress

  • Commonweal Conservancy secured Master Plan approval for Trenza from Santa Fe County in June 2007.
  • Commonweal Conservancy won preliminary plat approval for Phase I of Trenza from Santa Fe County in February 2010
  • A Master Plan amendment was approved by Santa Fe County in December 2015
  • The next phase of planning approvals and pre-construction responsibilities are expected to continue into early 2017.
  • The first home construction in Trenza is anticipated to begin in late 2017.

Galisteo Basin Preserve Village Flip Book >> [pdf, 5.4MB]