AP NEWS

Beautifying Santa Fe — together, it’s possible

May 27, 2019

The Santa Fe Plaza is the beating heart of our town — and that’s all the more reason for residents to gather round to help get the Plaza ready for summer.

Coming soon to a Plaza near us is the 5th Annual Keep the Santa Fe Plaza Beautiful event, with individuals, businesses and organizations joining together on June 1 for clean-up, painting and repair work. It’s a great example of how private volunteers can work with city employees so that we make Santa Fe shine.

Event organizer and businessman, Buddy Roybal, is telling one and all that the event needs plenty of hands on deck. Just painting all the benches on the Plaza will take dozens of volunteers — and boy, do they need painting. Supplies are being donated by Benjamin Moore and Coronado Paint and Decorating, Roybal’s business. He’s hoping for at least 80 people to show up and help on June 1, with work taking place from 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Volunteers will meet at the Community Bandstand for team assignments, which include painting and cleaning with guidance from team captains and City of Santa Fe crews from the Parks and Recreation Department. Beginners are welcome, no experience necessary. To sign up, email Anya Alarid aalarid@santafenm.gov or call Roybal at 505-699-2687. We’d wager you can just show up, too, and be prepared to help out.

Who knows? As community members work side by side, friendships will be made and ideas shared — perhaps there will be momentum to have similar beautifying events away from downtown. Imagine volunteers sweeping through Franklin Miles Park, for example, supplementing the hard work of city crews to clean and maintain this much-loved area. Parks in Santa Fe are loved to death, and in addition to the efforts of parks employees, some tender, loving care from park neighbors would be useful.

Or, maybe the volunteers on June 1 will come up with strategies to encourage private property owners — whether business or residential — to do more to clean up weeds that aren’t a city or county responsibility. We’ve complained plenty about failure to maintain city medians, but we would like to see the businesses on either side of Cerrillos Road or St. Michael’s Drive and other main thoroughfares do more to keep up appearances.

That means grocery stores, big-box stores, shopping mall owners, small businesses, restaurants and all the others open to serve the public would at least pick up cigarette butts, scrape the chewing gum off their sidewalks and pull weeds; the more energetic or deep-pocketed among them could improve landscaping, plant flowers and otherwise beautify the space around them. Such initiative on the part of businesses might spread to individuals who don’t whack weeds by the curbside; yes, property owners are responsible.

City Councilor Roman Abeyta has put together a video, being shown on Facebook, challenging homeowners and others in District 3 to take pride in their neighborhoods and go after troublesome weeds.

That’s a spirit we would like to see spread throughout Santa Fe. It starts this June 1 on the Santa Fe Plaza.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.