Valencia County has nearly $25,000 in grant funding to help keep the community “clean and beautiful.”
The county was one of 45 communities statewide to received an award from the New Mexico Tourism Department through the New Mexico Clean and Beautiful Grant Program.
Valencia County commissioners unanimously approved the receipt of the $24,547.50 grant at their Wednesday, Sept. 7 meeting.
The program funds projects and initiatives that contribute to the goals and objectives of ending littering, reducing waste, beautifying communities, empowering youth and increasing program capacity.
Valencia County public works director Lina Benavidez said in addition to the Clean and Beautiful funding, the county also receives money from its trash hauler, Universal Waste Systems, to fund cleanups by various youth sports teams, youth groups and community organizations, which allows the groups to fund raise.
To schedule a clean up, Benavidez said an organization just has to call the department at 505-866-2475.
“It’s incredibly important for us at the tourism department to support local communities with the resources they need to protect and enhance our shared spaces and public lands,” New Mexico Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said. “The Clean and Beautiful Grant Program really empowers local stakeholders to pursue and complete projects that intersect between community service, litter reduction and placemaking.”
According to a recent press release from the NMTD, communities have used these grant funds to enhance public space and support local wildlife and the ecosystem, among other projects. Statewide, the department awarded $790,801 in grants.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.