Clovis, Portales honored for beautification efforts

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Keep Clovis Beautiful, the local chapter of New Mexico Clean and Beautiful, was awarded a gold medal Friday for its efforts to clean and beautify Clovis by the New Mexico Tourism Department.

The award is based on productivity and participation, officials said.

Rob Carter, Clovis’ Parks and Recreation director, has been involved with Keep Clovis Beautiful for six years. The department oversees projects such as the Great American Clean-up, Trek for Trash, education sections with the schools, as well as beautification and litter programs that utilize teen volunteers.

Carter said the program has about 100 volunteers.

Clovis and Portales were two of six New Mexico communities to be awarded a gold medal.

Members of Curry County’s Teen Court program participate in the projects year round. Karen Garcia, Teen Court director, said the project gives the younger generation a sense of ownership.

“It allows them to know that eventually we’ll turn this whole thing over to them,” Garcia said. “And it makes them very aware of their surroundings.”

One of the teen attorneys, Joseph Fasig, has been helping with Keep Clovis Beautiful programs for four years. He’s painted railings at parks in Clovis and picked up trash along the highway. And Fasig said, he knows it’s about the future.

“If we didn’t pick up the trash to keep Clovis pretty,” Fasig said. “It’d go down hill and nobody would want to live here and it would turn into a ghost town.”