Rocky Mountain Youth Corps takes on campus trail upgrade

June 13, 2024


Photo by Enrico Trujillo
A Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crew prepares one of four "pads" for an exercise station along the Kids' Campus Loop trail on June 11.


Keeping in step with promoting health and wellness, the Kid’s Campus Loop trail at UNM-Taos Klauer campus is fitted with stations featuring outdoor exercise equipment and a sculpture art walk. The work began June 7. 

A crew of six Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) members were working on the last of four exercise equipment pads on June 11. Within a 15-foot radius, sagebrush had to be sawed and twisted from the earth to clear space. It helped that the sagebrush was fairly brittle. Grass, cacti, and rocks were removed, leaving a small footprint. 

With McLeod hoes, shovels, and rakes in hand, local RMYC crew members Marcos Martinez, Aliyah Martinez, Benito Juarez, Miguel Juarez, Alex Alvarez, and Supervisor Elizabeth Boyd cleared loose debris and leveled the ground. 

Next, the crew will install the attachments to hold the equipment in place and fill the squared areas with gravel. They will also install solar lights, signage, and exercise equipment. 

It’s a wide, about-a-mile-long, easily traversed path. Its maintenance is relatively low. However, the crew is also cleaning up its edges and removing any rogue vegetation in the users’ way. 

The project is funded by UNM and the Youth Conservation Corp. Boyd expects work to be completed by early August, if not sooner. They have until Aug. 2 to complete the project. 

Each crew member will be awarded a $1,565 grant for performing 300 hours of work this summer. They have 7 years to use the money, which can go toward further education or training in any field. The crew members have different career interests, ranging from conservation to psychology to HVAC training. 

Before long, people who regularly utilize the trail and others who will try it out for the first time, will have an adult jungle gym to play on. But the Loop isn’t just an enhanced playground, it will also be a site for the art senses. 

Stay tuned for a list of the outdoor exercise equipment and the sculptures to be installed. 

In 2010, RYMC built the recreational walking trail on Klauer campus. It originates at the back door of the Early Learning Center. The trail is wheelchair accessible, free to use, and open to the public every day. Dogs are welcome.