On Earth Day, April 22nd, 2015, three outstanding new community programs will be launched in downtown Albuquerque on Civic Plaza: the downtown pilot bike share (BICI), Civic Plaza Presents, and the Civic Plaza Placemaking initiative.

Membership Registration for Albuquerque's first bike share program, or BICI, (pronounced "BEE-see") will be launching on April 22nd. People who sign up at Civic Plaza from 11am-2pm will receive a free bicycle helmet. A one-year membership costs $25 with unlimited free rides under 1.5 hours. Members will have access to 60 bicycles at 12 stations in the downtown and surrounding areas that can be used for quick errands, meetings, or to meet friends for coffee. The BICI pilot program, which is a privately funded project with seed funding by PNM, will run for one year, but has the potential to continue and expand because of a recent City/County grant application that would provide funding for a city-wide bike share. BICI officially launches on May 15 on Bike to Work Day. For more information, please visit abqmainstreet.org/bici and to sign up for a BICI membership, please visit zagster.com/ABQ on or after April 22.

Additionally, new programming efforts on Civic Plaza will be spearheaded by SMG, the manager of both the Convention Center and Civic Plaza, under the brand "Civic Plaza Presents." This will focus on community- and family-oriented events including movie screenings, events, food festivals, live music, and more. Civicplazapresents.com will soon be going live and will offer the public an easy way to access event information and enjoy this newly programmed, premiere public space in the heart of downtown Albuquerque.

Finally, a significant grant will also be announced that day to fund a major Placemaking initiative that will begin to transform Civic Plaza into a truly public square, complete with opportunities for activity, engagement, and general enjoyment through community-envisioned activities, amenities and enhancements. With community-based participation at its center, Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential to create quality public spaces that contribute to people's health, happiness, and well-being. The Civic Plaza Placemaking Project will also launch on April 22nd thanks to the generous financial support of a major national grantor to be announced that day. Earth Day events celebrating Albuquerque's receipt of this highly competitive, nationally awarded grant will occur throughout the day. Events include Plant the Plaza, a volunteer effort to plant the plaza's planters, electronics recycling, local sustainable organizations, a sampling of the Downtown Growers Market, music, art, prepared foods, and much more.