Volunteers work on open space trail for “Make a Difference Day”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Once a year right before Halloween, people all over the country get up early on a Saturday to lend a hand in their community. That was the case Saturday in Albuquerque.

“We build trails, we clear trails, we pick up trash,” said Glory Cochrane.

She says this beats sitting inside any day.

“I think it’s great, I think we have to take care of our open spaces,” she said.

Cochrane was one of about 20 volunteers spending their day planting cacti, moving rocks and packing dirt.

“We feel that it’s important as citizens of Albuquerque to volunteer and give back to the community,” said volunteer Richard Shackley.

It’s all part of Make a Difference Day inspiring people all over the country to take on a community project.

“It’s a project that we’re doing here locally but then you kind of feel the energy around the city and then from other states around the country,” said Robert Dudley.

Dudley says his inspiration to take on a Make a Difference Day project some 15 years ago, came from his grandfather who taught him never to pass by trash others leave behind.

“My wife and I came up here and got some volunteers together and worked with the City of Albuquerque and so we just got people going on it and this has been going ever since.” she said.

Generations later, that mission at Piedra Lisa Open Space in Northeast Albuquerque continues.

“I think it’s fun helping the environment and stuff like that,” said Zeno Mingley.

Around the city other projects included painting schools walls, helping set up local festivals and cleaning up trash.

“It’s just fun you get to meet other volunteers,” explained Cochrane.

As they say many hands make light work.

“Bring folks together to do something that helps the community and make a difference,” said Dudley.

Saturday’s Make a Difference event at Piedra Lisa Trailhead was a partnership between the city’s open space division and Nicodemus Wildness, a non-profit founded by Robert Dudley in memory of his grandfather.