LAMS Students Landcape School Through Keep New Mexico Beautiful Grant

Web Crew leaders prepare planters for new plants donated from Keep New Mexico Beautiful. Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen

Keep New Mexico Beautiful has granted Los Alamos Middle School with several opportunities to enhance education and landscaping for the new school year.

The first grant project involves adding plants around the school exterior and conducting a campus clean up prior to the start of school.

“The plants that will be added to the front of the school and other locations around the site will help create a beautiful site,” LAMS Principal Rex Kilburn said. “My belief is that the additional plants will really help to support the landscape design and that when students see just how great the site looks it will help them appreciate the school more and to feel appreciated.”

The selected site is a memorial garden created by former staff member Suzanne Melton in memory of Bonnie Lissoway, a former Los Alamos Middle School nurse. Many original plants were farmed out to staff members to tend through the construction period of the new building with the goal of returning as many as possible, when the time was right.

Eighth grade leaders assisted by volunteering for a portion of the project in June, while the bulk of the work had to wait until water lines were established throughout the summer.

“These student leaders volunteered time to do some critical prep work to one of the primary planting beds to be ready for planting,” Kilburn said.

Prior to the end of the school year, the schools also conducted a poster contest with the support of KNMB. Chamisa Elementary students, under the direction of art teacher Renee Mitsunaga, created posters to encourage everything from summer reading and anti-litter to recycling and of course Keep New Mexico Beautiful.

The students will each receive gift certificates to the LAMS book fair and a chance to see their art used locally and at the state level.

Plans are to conduct a second contest with the focus on the work of KNMB. Home school or public school students of any age interested in receiving poster contest rules should call 505.470.0841.


Keep New Mexico Beautiful sponsored plants for Los Alamos Middle School and a poster contest. Renee Mitsunaga from Chamisa Elementary had several entries from her students. Each will receive a gift certificate for the Los Alamos Middle School book fair. Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen