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PNM grants will fund local projects

ENMU-Ruidoso with the Ruidoso Foundation and Friends of Smokey-Capitan each received several thousand dollars for environmental projects from the PNM Resources Foundation this week.

The foundation recently awarded $300,000 in grants to non-profits, including eight in southern New Mexico that included the two local entities. The local projects selected for funding include a $10,000 grant for a rainwater capture system for the ENMU-Ruidoso campus and $8,900 for new park development, native plant landscaping and a rainwater capture system in Ruidoso Downs through the Friends of Smokey award.

Local community volunteer Jim Miller helped to write the grant proposal for Friends of Smokey-Capitan.

“We’ll be using the grant money to landscape the new Veterans Service Center in the Downs,” Miller said. “We’ll also be trying to collect the rainwater runoff on two of the buildings at the location to water the landscape material we plant so we’ll be purchasing a rainwater tank. American Legion Post 79 will be doing part of the work, and Keep Ruidoso Downs Beautiful will be doing part of it. We’ll buy our plants locally and also be building three shelters and a picnic table.”

Miller said they hope to have the project completed by the spring of 2014.

The foundation selected 32 projects that promote environmental stewardship and/or community improvements of public spaces in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Foundation expectations are that local residents will be able to enjoy the benefits of these projects by the start of 2014.

“These projects will have a lasting positive impact in local communities doing activities that restore and diversify habitats, create community gardens, and build walking trails. These projects are important to PNM and to the local communities across our state,” said Diane Harrison Ogawa, executive director of the PNM Resources Foundation. “We are pleased to build on PNM’s tradition of supporting our communities.”

Alamogordo also got a piece of the pie with a $10,000 grant awarded to New Mexico State University-Alamagordo STEM Outreach to build a native plant demonstration garden as well as landscaping improvements and a water conservation project for the Alamogordo Public Library.

Reporter Kelly Brooks can be reached at 575-257-4001 ext. 4114.

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