New organization working to clean up community

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

A new community organization at Eastern New Mexico University is working to clean and help Portales move toward recycling.

The Neighborhood, which is a group of students, ENMU graduates and some Portales residents have one goal in mind — a clean and recycle-friendly Portales.

James Pearson is an anthropology major and chairman of the organization.

“We’re a community service group,” Pearson said. “We’re open to everyone and all ages, but it is mostly college age. We do have some community members. Our basic goal is to make our home of Portales and the surrounding area better.”

The group started during the summer with a handful of members and started to blossom in the fall. Pearson said so far the group has cleaned up a couple of miles of roads, Rotary Park and City Park.

The group hosted an arts and music festival at the Do Drop In and recently went to a nursing home and gave cookies and cards to residents.

Helle Hatten, a criminal justice and sociology double major, has been with the group since the summer. Hatten said the Neighborhood Music Festival last month was to promote the group.

“We were very happy with our results,” Hatten said.

Hatten said the morning before the music festival, the group did a trash pickup of U.S. 70 and Roswell highway.

The group is looking into having another music festival probably in the spring of 2010.

Hatten said the group is taking a break for the holidays, and looking to pick up where they left off in January. The group’s ultimate goal is to obtain a recycling facility in Portales.

Lisa Redfield, a ENMU graduate, has been with the group for three months.

“In the short term the group is hoping is to do good things in the community,” Redfield, who is the coordinator of research and development for the group, said. “In the long term we are hoping to get a city-wide recycling program going.”

Redfield said even though the majority of the group are students, it is open to people in the community to join.