Los Alamos National Laboratory volunteer Vangie Trujillo helps out at Kaune Early Learning Center in Santa Fe. Photo Courtesy LANL
April was National Volunteer Month, and more than 20 Laboratory employees gave up their free time to help out nonprofits across Northern New Mexico on three days of service co-ordinated by the Laboratory’s Community Partnerships Office.
The first project saw volunteers at Barrios Unidos in Chimayo on April 19, working on improvement projects such as painting trim, planting flowers and bushes, and adding base course to a garden meditation/prayer labyrinth.
Barrios Unidos addresses the cultural and psychological issues related to addiction, recovery and cultural trauma in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties with a range of services including peer support groups, AA breakfast meetings, support for families with a member struggling with addiction, and assistance for grandparents raising grandchildren.
Los Alamos National Laboratory Volunteers work on the labyrinth at Barrios Unidos in Española. Photo Courtesy LANL
A second group of Laboratory volunteers joined Los Alamos County Open Space and Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) on April 20 for a day of trail improvement in Los Alamos. They helped plant trees and shrubs along the Perimeter Trail, and picked up trash in Acid Canyon.
“Volunteers from Los Alamos National Laboratory made a huge difference during the trail work projects to kick off Earth Week 2019,” says Beth Cortright, adventure programs manager at PEEC. “We couldn’t have hoped for a better crew or a more beautiful spring day to improve and beautify our local trails and open spaces. PEEC and Los Alamos County are very appreciative of the support from the Laboratory and our community that made this event a success.”
PEEC is a nonprofit dedicated to sharing the nature of the Pajarito Plateau. Serving more than 40,000 adults and children per year with the nature center; public programs such as talks, hikes, outing, and classes; school lessons and field trips; and a state-of-the-art planetarium.
Los Alamos National Laboratory employees assisting with trail improvement work in Los Alamos. Photo Courtesy LANL
The last project saw employees helping at the Kaune Early Learning Center, which is run by United Way of Santa Fe. As well as pruning plants at the free preschool, the volunteers removed weeds around the playground and cleaned chairs in the cafeteria.
United Way’s mission is to engage the whole community, bringing together people and resources to create increased opportunities for children and families to achieve their dreams and aspirations.