Abbey Carver, an inspiration, community activist and grassroots organizer, founded Cruceño Cleanup, an ad-hoc group of volunteers that picks up trash from in and around Las Cruces, New Mexico, at least once a week. 

From a young age, Abbey and her mom walked city streets, open spaces and hiking trails collecting litter. While she finds it fun and fulfilling, Abbey never imagined so many people would happily join in; but her enthusiasm and attitude were infectious. In the past two years, she has organized a cleanup every week and now has so many dedicated volunteers that she’s turned to social media to communicate and keep them motivated.

“Abbey started all this all by herself. Her personality, drive and love of home allowed her to build a solid base of volunteers. She’s truly a wonderful person who deserves this title,” wrote Duane Mosley in a recent application nominating Abbey as a New Mexico True Hero. “I don’t know anyone who has put more into a grassroots effort for so little recognition. She does it for love of her community and this state.” This exceptional young woman, a recent horticulture graduate from New Mexico State University, embodies the unmistakable spark of one who is passionate about life. Her ready smile, humble character, and ability to lead by example make Abbey a hero to many, including Chris Lock, who said, “The girl is a ball of positivity. The only thing she hates is litter.”

Recognizing what an asset they have in Abbey, the Las Cruces City Council declared May 4 “Cruceño Cleanup Day.” She is a natural leader who gives “all her volunteers a greater sense of purpose” and “dozens of people a sense of community.” 

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