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NMSU’s Hidalgo County Extension receives grant to improve community gardenNew Mexico State University’s Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Service receives PNM Resources Foundation grant for its youth community garden.

  • By Kristie Garcia
Children planting in a garden
Hidalgo County residents will soon have access to more fresh food, flowers and nutrition education, thanks to funding from PNM Resources Foundation. The foundation awarded over $17,000 to New Mexico State University’s Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Service for its youth community garden. “This funding will definitely have a positive effect on the community,” Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Service Program Director John Allen said. “It will allow us to add innovative systems, and the garden will be an even greater hub of education.” PNM Resources Foundation is dedicated to improving quality of life and seeks opportunities that focus on education, environmental awareness and education, economic vitality and employee engagement. The grant will allow for a new greenhouse, a composting worm bin, fruit trees and bushes, egg-laying hens, an improved watering system and painting of the vegetable washing station’s concrete slab. “The kids are most excited about building a composting worm bin and the chickens,” Allen said. Originally planted in 2011 on the Hidalgo County Fairgrounds, the garden is in constant use by groups such as 4-H and Boothill Youth Association. “We’ll be able to expand our reach in the community,” Allen said. “People can come check out different gardening systems and go back to their own gardens to replicate what they learned. We’ll also be able to have more plants in the classroom.” Allen expects that much of the work will be completed during the summer. A work day will be held at which the current hoop house will be replaced by a new portable greenhouse, and a tree planting event will take place in late fall. For more information about the garden, contact Allen at 575-542-9291 or