Amidst New Mexico’s summer heatwave with temperatures in the 100s, concern has spiked over the inadequate maintenance and neglect of parks in communities of color and low-income areas. The poor maintenance of parks is an example of environmental racism. “The dire state of these parks hinders the residents' access to green spaces, but also permeates into environmental racism and there is a need for change,” Enrique Cardiel, a community organizer, said. The Regional Recreation Center/Quality of Life Grant was a state-led effort to improve amenities at public outdoor spaces in the state. While none of the funding went to Bernalillo County, Urban to Wild coordinator, Rachel Swanteson-Franz, said these efforts are to help improve equity in public green spaces.
Weston Quintana is a freelance reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted on Twitter @wesss_jpg
The New Mexico Local News Fellowship and Internship Program has expanded its opportunities for aspiring journalists. The program was created to support journalism students and graduates from New Mexico public universities since 2019, according to the department of workforce solutions who partnered with the News Fund press release. With 125,000 in-state funding approved this past pay, the program will be able to double the amount of participants they have. The program is operated by the University of New Mexico’s Communication & Journalism Department where the program recruits, selects and matches journalism students to local newsrooms, according to the The Local News Fellowship and Internship website.
Albuquerque parks ranked 23 by the Trust for Public Land, 11 places higher than the prior year. Albuquerque scored a 61.1 out of 100 due to the number and size of the parks, according to The Trust for Public Land, rather than the maintenance of them. The Trust for Public Land is an organization that works to create parks and protect land. They have been ranking parks for over a decade.
Earlier this semester, the University of New Mexico’s Basic Needs Project — in collaboration with the New Mexico Higher Education Department — sent out a survey to 27 universities and colleges statewide to collect data on the basic needs of students, faculty and staff. On May 5, the data collected was presented in the Student Union Building. This event included an appearance made by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in support of the work done.
On Sunday, Jan. 8, New Mexico high school student Anistacia Mia Aragon organized a fashion show entitled “I Am;” to “illuminate and raise awareness of the mass epidemic of suicide and using fashion to bring awareness, as well as empower those who attend,” according to the Menual School website. The show and benefit was hosted at the National Hispanic Cultural Center with all ticket proceeds going toward local suicide prevention programs in New Mexico Aragon is currently a senior at Menaul School and this was her first time organizing an event like this. She’s also the current titleholder of World Latina Teen USA with the platform of teen suicide awareness, according to the event’s website.