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A clean slate for the community

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Join LAHS, LAMS, YES Corps and PEEC for the 10/10/10 worldwide day of service

By Special to the Monitor

The public is invited and encouraged to clean up “LA Mountain” and join a worldwide day of service at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Los Alamos High School and Los Alamos Middle School Environmental Clubs, sponsored by The Family YMCA and Pajarito Environmental Education Center, equipped with gloves and trash bags donated by the County Eco-Station, will meet at 48th Street water tank. The plan is to trek up “LA Mountain” to reorganize the painted rocks and clean up the paint-related trash in an effort to provide a much-needed service to our community and link to a worldwide day of service. 10/10/10 is a collaborative project from 350.org in an effort to motivate communities to show mass solidarity and action around climate issues.
This past summer, motivated teenagers in the Y Earth Service Corps (YES Corps) collected 1,700 pounds of trash from LA Mountain. Yet even with 1,700 pounds gathered, more trash awaits community hands and further clean-up efforts.
Sandra West, YES Corps Assistant Director said, “The kids were surprised when they saw the amount of paint cans and trash in the area. They were also confused when they saw how much paint was not on the LA itself. They kept coming up with ideas for how to fix the problem, fix the LA.”
LAHS’ Homecoming Week, which features festive theme days, builds a sense of community, of camaraderie and offers rites of passage to LAHS students of all ages. The painting of the LA is one of those mile markers, a rite of passage activity where the class always sets out with the best of intentions.
 “This year we really will make the LA readable,” Sylvan Argo, YMCA adventure director said. “Yet as I learned back in my own LAHS days, the temptations of 50-plus teenagers holding full buckets of paint swiftly turns the afternoon into one giant free-for-all flurry of white. Cans are discarded wherever they fall, brushes are abandoned in moments of mania and the paint may get on a rock here and there, but as to whether those rocks are part of the LA, well, that’s another story.”
While painting the LA this year, representatives of the Senior Class of 2010 witnessed how empty cans and brushes have continued to pile up and also noticed that the L and the A have migrated into a symbol that is hard to recognize.
The LAMS and LAHS Environmental Clubs are motivated to clean the slate for the community and create an LA symbol that we can all admire with pride. Jodi Cull-Host, LAHS Environmental Club treasurer said, “It’ll make our community a better place. Our hope is that this will bring a variety of people from all ages to come together to improve the community – socially, environmentally and educationally. We’re excited!”
Diane Medford, LAHS Environmental Club’s teacher advisor said, “This is the first year that the Environmental Club has joined with YES Corps and PEEC. I think it is a chance for the club to expand into the community with support — this gives (the club) a chance to do worthwhile stuff and make it community wide.”
For more information, contact Sylvan Argo, Adventure Programs Director at The Family YMCA:  adventure@laymca.org or 662-3100.