Local entities collaborate to make a big splash in the community

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By The Staff

Los Alamos MainStreet rounds out the fiscal year by sponsoring an informal collaboration between educators called Agua Adventures.

Assets In Action, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), Los Alamos Historical Society, the Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos County Recreation, the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the working committee.

The group has collaborated to provide lots of fun and occasional educational experiences to fill the summer with community activities. The theme the group came up with for 2010 is water and thus Agua Adventures was born.

“It has been great fun working with the ingenious, imaginative and talented members of the Los Alamos informal educators group,” Gordon McDonough of the Bradbury Museum said. “I hope this effort leads to more such projects in the future.”

McDonough, a self-proclaimed science evangelist, and cohort Liz Martineau, a student and an educator, have rallied the resources to help bust students’ boredom and fill their educational vessels during summer break when the weather is hot and temperatures flare.

The museum staff along with Assets in Action have created three, free scavenger hunts to keep residents on the move this summer.

The first foray into the sprinkler of knowledge is to make a splash. “Make a Splash,” is the first of the Los Alamos scavenger hunts that focuses on downtown Los Alamos. “We want people to enjoy the wonderful community that we live in,” Martineau said.  

The hunt involves following clues hidden in riddles to find a downtown location and look for the answer at that particular location. Answers are then recorded and can be entered in a drawing for a chance to win prizes.

Martineau said the hunt can be completed in one day and the hope is to assist families or groups, such as summer camps and scouts, to enjoy working together.

For those who have experience in scavenger hunts, there will be “An Ode to the Foe of Fire.”

“It requires searching the whole county, so it is meant for adults or families with a car,” Martineau said. Brian Osburn and Maco Stewart, who some people may remember from the United Way Treasure Hunt a few years ago, created it.

Martineau warns participants this hunt is very difficult and is meant for people who have a real mind for solving puzzles.

Both Martineau and McDonough have stated on the record that they have not been able to solve it yet.

After the answers are found, there is a word that must be unscrambled for the final clue.

The fun is not limited to Los Alamos. The team is offering activities to the White Rock community. The task may take participants throughout the community and can be done by bicycle in a day or by foot during course of several days.  

The search clues go on-line officially June 1 at both the Bradbury and Assets Web sites. The formal kickoff takes place at the 2010 ChamberFest activities in Los Alamos. Participants have the entire summer to accomplish one or all three tasks.

Final answer forms are due by the 2010 Fair and Rodeo, another MainStreet event that finds community members downtown. Smaller prizes are awarded as forms are dropped off with a chance to win bigger ticket items drawn after the 2010 Fair and Rodeo parade.

Forms can also be turned in anytime at either the Los Alamos or White Rock Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center locations.

Those without computer access can utilize free computers at Mesa Public Library or the White Rock Branch. Senior scavengers can find help downloading the clues at the Betty Ehart Senior Center or with those sassy seniors at the White Rock Center.

Hard copies are also available at the Bradbury Museum, both Chamber locations, PEEC or the Historical Museum.

“We are especially grateful to the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce for their support through a MainStreet grant,” McDonough said. “This is truly a great community.”

The Bradbury Science Museum educators will continue the water theme with activities on Tuesdays in June and July at the museum.

Mesa Public Library will feature “Water Your Mind” in its summer reading program. An added value for adults is the adult summer reading, which showcases, “The Secret Knowledge of Water” by Craig Childs. The book is an exploration of the character of water in the desert. It can be checked out from the Mesa Public Library or purchased from the Historical Museum.

The water theme is continued with activities through the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center and PEEC.

The Friends of the Senior Center and Assets In Action also invite the community to a senior community prom. The event, “Sea of Love,” will be held at 6 p.m. June 26 at the Betty Ehart Senior center. Dancers of all ages are invited to groove to the music of the 1940s. Admission is just a $1 and one non-perishable item. For more information, call Assets In Action at 661-4846 or visit www.AssetsInAction.info.