Volunteers clean up a mess left behind after the government reopens

By:  Shellye Leggett

The government is open and many were out enjoying some of New Mexico's open spaces. The Petroglyph National Monument was just one of several parks partially closed during the shutdown, which caused some problems that had to be cleaned up.

"Three weeks is better than nothing, so I hope that it works," said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.

The shutdown had a lasting effect on thousands of New Mexicans.

"As the weeks went by, it got a little bit tough," federal employee Juanita Sando said.

It also affected the state's national parks.

"We wanted to really shine a light on the impact of the government shut down on our public lands," said New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich.

The city of Albuquerque was only expecting about 20 people to show up to Saturday's clean up at the Petrogylph, but those 20 brought their friends and those friends brought even more friends to help with the effort.

"Trash, vandalism and lost economic opportunities. Once I heard someone at an event talking about someone who had scheduled to film a film here in New Mexico at White Sands and they had to postpone that and it meant 100 people who would have been working here in the state," Heinrich said.

Keller said there was luckily no major damage done at any of the state's national parks, but other devastation was left behind by the shutdown.

"I'm all for it, even if it's three weeks. I wish it was permanent, but I guess you kind of take what you can get," Sando said.

Though the government is now open, national parks will officially open on Monday.