Residents hit street for community cleanup

By Jillian Holbert: PNT correspondent

Portales isn’t so trashy, as of Saturday afternoon.

That’s because 105 volunteers picked up 185 30-gallon bags of trash on Saturday during a Tas No Mas community cleanup, city officials said.

Deputy City Clerk Veda Urioste and City Clerk Joanne Martinez-Terry sat at three long tables handing out bright green and yellow Tas No Mas t-shirts, water, doughnuts and cookies to the volunteers.

“The community’s come out real well this year to help pick up the grounds all over the city,” said Martinez-Terry.

She said just 34 volunteers participated last year.

“It just feels real important to do, to pick up all the trash,” said Joshua Lansford, an Eastern New Mexico University student earning a community service credit for his freshmen seminar class. “But as far as the labor goes, it’s not that hard.”

Gary Rydal, leader of the Boy Scouts Troop 18 from Portales, said, “My scouts are required to do a certain amount of community service per year, per rank, so we take every opportunity we can to help and they enjoy coming out here and doing their part for the community.”

Volunteers found empty boxes, water bottles, cigarette butts and a variety of other items somebody didn’t want anymore.

“It’s been pretty interesting with the number of car parts,” said Rydal, “One of the leaders said he was gonna build himself a junk car.”

Chuck and Kathie Haman brought a group of youngsters from the Southside Church of Christ to help clean up U.S. 70. Every year, the children who have done enough community service go to a Leadership Training for Christ convention in Phoenix during Easter.

“I hope that they realize that throwing out trash (while) driving down the road is a job for somebody, like what we’re doing today,” said Chuck Haman. “Somebody’s gotta pick that up eventually.”

The Southside Church, with its team of 27 volunteers, cleaned up the most garbage with 54 bags, Martinez-Terry said. The James Polk Community Bank and the Portales High School Rams football team each collected 32 bags.

“I think it’s about gaining awareness and making the town a better looking place,” Martinez-Terry said.