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Members of the "Friends of Gallagher Park" were recognized at a recnt Las Cruces City Council meeting with the Mayor's Citation for Community Service Award for ridding Gallagher Park of weeds without pesticides.
The group began working on the park, 137 W. Gallagher Ave., in September 2018, when it was designated an Adopt-a-Spot location by the city.
To visit the park, take Alameda Boulevard north and turn right onto Gallagher Avenue. The park will be immediately on your right. The road that curves around the park is called Nina S. Place.
“Adopt-a-Spot is a city clean-up/beautification program that encourages residents to improve their neighborhoods by cleaning littered curbs, sidewalks and vacant lots, cutting grass and high weeds and planting trees and/or flowers,” according to www.las-cruces.org.
“These folks have helped to build unity around the park, have worked with Doña Ana Communities United (DACU) to help with sustainable pet management,” the city said on Facebook. “They have brought forth changes to road maintenance as requested by the residents, added "Respect the Neighborhood" signs to discourage speeding, made efforts to replace park trees that had been vandalized or weather damaged and have helped in getting water leaks in the park repaired.”
“For over a decade, Gallagher Park neighborhood resident John Hamilton has advocated tirelessly to curtail the use of pesticides,” said DACU Director Kari Bachman. “In 2018, DACU timebank members joined with John and other neighborhood residents to formalize an agreement with the city to care for West Gallagher Park through the Adopt-A-Spot program. The innovative partnership coordinated by Shana Bachus engages community members to weed and maintain the park without pesticides. (City) Parks and Recreation Department staff provide technical assistance and carry out larger maintenance projects. This ongoing effort has contributed to the city outlawing the use of glyphosates and beginning to develop an integrated pest management plan. Residents are now working with city staff to develop a plan to refurbish the park through capital outlay funding championed by District 1 City Councilor (and Mayor Pro Tempore) Kasandra Gandara,” Bachman said.
DACU is a Las Cruces-based nonprofit that “brings county residents together across cultural divides, particularly those whose voices go unheard. Our goal is to work with each other and decision makers to address inequities that impact health. These include aspects of the built environment (such as roads), institutional racism and social isolation,” according to www.da-cu.org.