Community cleanup

Portales residents will be participating in the Great American Cleanup project from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday.

Participants comb the city while picking up trash and debris.

“It doesn’t cost people anything, just their time,” said project director Veda Urioste. “It’s nice to clean up some eyesores.”

Urioste said the event is sponsored by a grant given to the Portales Clean and Beautiful Program. She said the purpose of the program is to make Portales a better place to live in. Another trash cleanup event held each year is Trek for Trash in October.

“It brings people together and cleans up our community,” Urioste said. “And it allows people to see how bad the community can really look in certain areas.”

Mayor Sharon King will be participating in the event and she said she enjoys seeing people out caring for their community.

“We have so much trash in spring when the wind is blowing so much,” King said. “And we can’t keep it in our dumpsters so it’s great to have the community get out and help clean it up.”

Another participant who helps with the event is city counselor and Portales schools purchasing agent Dianne Parker. She has been working the event for about 15 years.

“I was very interested in cleaning up the city, so over the years, I’ve tried to stick with it and do other projects,” Parker said. “It’s part of my plan that we’re still working on to get our community clean.”

Parker said she would also like to see groups in Portales help the elderly and handicapped individuals clean their yards.

“I think it’s a matter of educating our community. Everything in our community is ours, including the trash, which makes it our job to clean it up,” Parker said. “We, as the citizens of Portales, need to take pride in our town and keep it clean. We want to make our community appealing to everyone who comes through it and that is up to us as community members.”

Cheryl Oman and her son, Ryan Cruz, 13, are both Portales residents participating in the trash clean up. They got involved through the Civil Air Patrol at Cannon Air Force Base.

“I want to help because it cleans up the town of Portales where I live and gives back to the community and to be a role model to younger generations to come,” Cruz said. “And by doing community service, I get a ribbon for every 60 hours I do in the Civil Air Patrol.”

“I think it’s a great way to keep things clean where we live and doing it together shows him that this is a good way to give back to his community,” said Oman

Urioste said prizes will be included for those who collect the most amount of trash in their bags and trash cans and lunch will be provided for participants at 11:30 a.m.

“The event committee really appreciates all the city employees, counselors and businesses who donate supplies and their time to make a successful clean up every year,” Urioste said. “We don’t have to give prizes but it’s just something we like to do to thank the community for helping.”