Local youth to start work on train depot improvement

Area teens participating in a state youth program will work to improve the landscape of the Tucumcari Train Depot.

Seven Tucumcari teens will be participating in the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps, said Community Development Director Yvette Fazekas. Fazekas said each year the teens work on a project aimed at improving community facilities.

The work these youth have completed in the past can be seen all over the community, said City Manager Doug Powers.

Powers said the gazeboes next to the Chamber of Commerce and Northside Park and landscaping work at the softball fields are some of the example of the YCC's work in Tucumcari.

Fazekas said this year's project will include planting of trees, installation of a drip irrigation system, decorative rock placement and the building of a retaining wall to separate a picnic area.

The material and wages for the YCC program are provided through a grant from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

The YCC was created in 1992, and is administratively attached to the EMNRD, according to the organization's Web site. Their primary goal is to employ the state's youth in public projects. The participants learn employment skills, work ethics as well as self-discipline and self-esteem.

The teens are eligible for a $1,500 scholarship after working with the YCC. That scholarship can be used to attend any college in New Mexico.

Fazekas said the overall goal of the program is to help the teens develop a strong work ethic and community pride. She said the projects they complete will still be around many years from now when the teen returns to Tucumcari.

"They will be able to say they had a part in building that," Fazekas said.

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