The City of Las Cruces, in particular the Roadrunner sculpture at the Scenic View rest area on the City’s West Mesa, has received national television exposure and was recently featured by NBC News.
A 1 minute, 7 seconds video story about the Roadrunner sculpture, created by artists Olin Calk and Dan Smith, can be viewed online at www.nbcnews.com/dateline/video/a-postcard-from-the-field-the-las-cruces-recycled-roadrunner-79006277788. The sculpture is 20 feet high by 40 feet long and has been at the West Mesa rest area since 2001. It is made from recycled materials that were found at the City’s Foothills Landfill, and weighs about 1,600 pounds.
An NBC News crew came to Las Cruces in late January to work on another story. The crew was also looking for a human interest story when they spotted the large sculpture at the West Mesa rest area just off of eastbound Interstate 10. Visit Las Cruces Communication Specialist Lorena Sanchez met with the news crew and explained how the large sculpture came to be.
“They were looking for scenic shots of Las Cruces,” Sanchez said. “The image of the Roadrunner sculpture kept coming up.”
The Roadrunner was initially created in 1993 as part of a recycling education program for the Foothills Landfill. The sculpture was originally meant to draw attention to the landfill.
But when it was moved to the Scenic View rest area in 2001, the Roadrunner became an icon of Las Cruces and New Mexico, since the roadrunner is the official state bird. Twice since it has been at the West Mesa rest area, the sculpture has had to be refurbished. From 2012 to 2014, the Roadrunner was removed from the Scenic View rest area so it could be repaired but was relocated and has remained at the rest area.
The current version of the Roadrunner Sculpture uses multimedia recycled elements including Volkswagen headlights, used sneakers, golf clubs, a trophy, old plastic toys, metal from the City of Las Cruces’ recycling center, and things gathered from local thrift stores.
There is no charge for visitors and residents to view the stature at the Scenic View rest area. The rest area includes restrooms, several semi-private picnic shelters with outdoor grills, and parking for recreational vehicles. Overnight camping, with a maximum stay for 24 hours, is also available.
The Scenic View rest area also offers dramatic and spectacular easterly views of Las Cruces, the Mesilla Valley, and the Organ Mountains.