- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—City of Portales officials and volunteers used a $7,000 grant to clean up the Portales walking trail last week.

The New Mexico Clean and Beautiful Tourism Department awards grants to communities each year to work on improving and keeping communities clean.

Clean and Beautiful Coordinator Veda Urioste said the grant has been helping to keep Portales beautiful since before 1999 when she became coordinator.

“We work toward different things each year. This year’s main focus was the walking trail,” said Urioste.

The parks department worked extremely hard to complete the project by last Friday, according to Urioste.

“I cannot tell them (parks department) enough how thankful I am for all their work. They did a wonderful job,” said Urioste.

The Dora varsity and junior high football teams and Garden Source were also involved in the walking trail clean up. The football teams were hired with money from the grant to paint and pick up trash as a fundraiser for their team, and the Garden Source planted Red Cactus.

Dora football Coach Mason McBee said the event went really well, and it was nice to give back to the community.

“We do a lot of fundraisers, and it was nice to give back to the community at the same time,” said McBee.

The two teams spent half a day at the walking trail working on Thursday and Friday. The fundraisers typically pay for football equipment needs as well as seven-on-seven football camps in the summer.

Urioste said that the Clean and Beautiful project is very important to all the communities in New Mexico, especially Portales.

“With the help of Clean and Beautiful we are able to clean up our parks and keep our communities clean. We would not be able to hire the groups we need to help without the grant. We are a nice, clean smaller community, and it’s important to let visitors know that and to give the residents of Portales the opportunity to enjoy our community,” said Urioste.

Urioste also wanted to encourage the people and organizations that host 5K runs in the community to go look at the walking trail and its new improvements.

“We would like to encourage groups that host 5Ks to go and look at it and think about hosting their 5K events out there to reduce the danger of having to shut down streets,” said Urioste.

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(c)2015 The Portales News-Tribune (Clovis, N.M.)

Visit The Portales News-Tribune (Clovis, N.M.) at www.pntonline.com

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