Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Lab carpenters help out at local senior center

Carpenters Local Union 1319 step in to do landscaping
October 20, 2020
Lab carpenters working at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

Lab carpenters working at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
  • Email

Laboratory carpenters from the Carpenters Local Union 1319 used their free time on a Saturday to help out the nonprofit Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization (LARSO) at the Betty Ehart Senior Center in Los Alamos.

The volunteers who regularly kept up the center's parking lot and grounds had not been able to do the work since the pandemic started, so the landscaping needed some assistance.

Joanna Gillespie at the Laboratory's Community Partnership Office worked with Bernadette Lauritzen of LARSO, and carpenter steward Raul Mora of the union to organize the volunteer day.

More than 15 union members cut down the tall grasses and weeds, raked pine needles and pine cones and replanted a memorial tree. They also collected all the waste, and swept patios and stairs to ensure safe access for visitors and staff.

“They gave us some much-needed curb appeal by weeding and trimming bushes and shrubs. It was a site to behold for the before and after,” said Lauritzen. “The seniors have noticed how great it looks already!”

Everyone involved observed safety precautions, including masks and social distancing. All the work took place outside.

"Carpenters 1319 have done many volunteer hours in Albuquerque, but we have a lot of members who work and live in Northern New Mexico," says Mora. "We want to show the community that we care and want to support Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico in any way we can. The members did an amazing job cleaning up and filling up those trash bags."

“The guys made me feel like part of their team throughout the day,” said Lauritzen. “They even gave me one of their T-shirts and masks, which I proudly wore on the Monday afterwards, so the seniors that drive through for lunch would know who provided the hard work.”