Las Cruces, NM (PRWEB) July 30, 2013 -- The Unified Prevention! (UP!) Coalition for a Drug Free Doña Ana County is partnering with Groundwork Doña Ana County to provide local youth with the opportunity to participate in the stewardship of local parks.
Through its Green Team Park Stewardship Program, Groundwork Doña Ana County will change the physical design of Young, Apodaca and Valley View Parks in Las Cruces and O’Hara Park in Anthony to reduce risk and enhance protection in Doña Ana County parks and neighborhoods around them. UP! provided $14,784 in funding for the community park stewardship program. Groundwork will work with local youth, allowing them to participate in the program and receive training in park maintenance and community outreach strategies to remove and prevent littering, graffiti and other forms of vandalism in the park.
UP!, through the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM), was awarded a Partnerships for Success II (PFS II) grant earlier this year to work on prevention as a means to reduce underage drinking and reduce prescription drug misuse by youth and young adults. The three year PFS II grant providing $128,300 per year to the CFSNM for UP! was awarded by OptumHealth New Mexico (OHNM), which serves as the award’s fiscal agent for the State. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) PFS II grant is housed in the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP), in the Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) of the Human Services Department (HSD).
The PFS II grant will require the CFSNM to address two of the nation’s top substance abuse prevention priorities in high need communities including: underage drinking among youth ages 12 to 20 and prescription drug misuse and abuse among youth and adults ages 12 to 25. As a grant recipient, UP! is required to participate in and use the Strategic Prevention Framework planning model to include: needs assessment, capacity building, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation with cultural competency and sustainability infused into each step. The partnership with Groundwork fits into four strategies of the grant requirements.
The organization started organizing work days in the parks June 17 and will continue through Oct. 31, 2013. In addition to cleaning up the parks, Groundwork will also empower the youth to write an op-ed pieces on the importance of stewardship in the community and submit to local media; plan and host two town events to engage youth in topics including park stewardship, youth empowerment opportunities and community building and provide before and after pictures of targeted parks.
For more information on Groundwork Doña Ana County, please visit http://www.groundworkdonaana.org, call 575.649.9075 or email groundworkda(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Luan Burn, Community Foundation Southern NM, http://www.cfsnm.org, 575-521-4794, [email protected]