By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
A metal roadrunner sculpture graces the xeriscaped median at the entrance to the West Mesa Industrial Park. The Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Water Conservation Program placed him there to highlight the City of Las Cruces’ (City) water conservation efforts and mindset. And now the little guy has a name, thanks to the efforts of elementary students in our community.
Las Cruces Public Schools was ready to meet the naming challenge! LCU invited elementary classes to study roadrunners, choose a name, talk it over, and submit their selection along with written materials explaining their choice. The winning name –
“Aguacito” – came from David Uribe’s 4th and 5th grade bilingual class at Hillrise Elementary.
“I’m proud of the enthusiasm and energy the students displayed while working together as a team,” said Uribe. “Community opportunities like this one help connect students to
meaningful learning and real life application of language skills.” Students were primed to consider how roadrunners survive in our desert and how this sculpture would aid in the City’s mission of emphasizing water conservation.
At the March 14th Board Meeting the LCU Board of Commissioners took a break from consideration of complicated water issues and reviewed the top five best possible names submitted by classes. Along with the excitement of producing the winning name - a plaque will be placed near the roadrunner sculpture, a miniature roadrunner trophy has been provided to Hillrise Elementary, and the winning class was treated to a highly anticipated pizza party.
A special guest joined the students for their celebration lunch: LCU Gas System Compliance Inspector, Ruben Garcia, a very experienced and highly accomplished welder, designed and created both Aguacito and his smaller trophy version. “It’s fun that they’ve thought so hard about something I made,” said Garcia. “It’s pretty neat.”
After the students received LCU gift bags with lanyards, frisbees, and water absorbing towels, Mr. Uribe had one more surprise, it was time to play “pin the heart on Aguacito.” Three spins for the blindfolded student, like Victoria Muñoz, then she slowly inched forward to find the heart located on a wall.
Now, all the students have a special place in their hearts for a little roadrunner named “Aguacito” who lives on the edge of our desert community. He proudly stands for sustainable water use and a conservation mindset. You can visit Aguacito at the entrance of the West Mesa Industrial Park, near Love’s Truck Stop along I-10, as you enter our city from Deming.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: David Uribe’s 4th/5th grade class came up the name “Aguacito,” which was chosen by the LCU Board in the roadrunner naming contest. You can visit Aguacito at the entrance of the West Mesa Industrial Park, near Love’s Truck Stop along I-10, as you enter our city from Deming.