Our History Our History

Keep New Mexico Beautiful, Inc. ("KNMB") was founded in 1965 and incorporated as New Mexico nonprofit, 501(c) (3) corporation in 1967. From its first years, KNMB has supported sustainable beautification efforts and promoted civic pride through education, grant assistance, programs and recognition of community efforts. In 1985, the Legislature mandated that KNMB be the official statewide clearinghouse for all litter control and beautification projects in the state of New Mexico.

KNMB's well known traveling mascot Dusty Roadrunner has traveled to events and schools throughout New Mexico for more than 40 years, spreading his message about litter control and beautification. The New Mexico Legislature designated him New Mexico's cleanup symbol in 1969.

Linked to Dusty Roadrunner, KNMB has long had an educational component, largely directed toward elementary school children, starting with Dusty Roadrunner educational booklets in 1970, These booklets were most recently updated in 2007 in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Tourism. Our Resources

Dating back to 1970 when it initiated recycling centers in Albuquerque and later Santa Fe, KNMB has long supported and promoted recycling. Those efforts were followed in 1976 when it initiated a telephone book recycling program with the local telephone company, then known as Mountain Bell.

With financial assistance provided by the New Mexico Highway Department and more recently the Department of Tourism, KNMB awards modest grants to various clubs, organizations, schools, municipal governments, counties and pueblos for beautification, litter control and recycling. Our Grants

KNMB and its board members have received numerous awards from Keep America Beautiful, including three winners of the prestigious Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson Award: the Founders Eunice Kalloch and Mary Olin Harrell (the creator of Dusty Roadrunner) and long time Board member and President, Evelyn Prentice.

KNMB is funded by charitable donations from individuals and businesses, grants, membership fees, and a contract with the State of New Mexico.

Highlights Through the Years


  • 1964 – Mary Olin Harrell creates KNMB's mascot, Dusty Roadrunner, and artist Jean Rankin develops the Dusty rendition.
  • 1966 – Dusty Roadrunner chosen as one of Smokey Bear’s friends in a nation-wide mascot recognition.
  • 1969 – Dusty Roadrunner is declared the official New Mexico State clean-up mascot by House Memorial 13.
  • 1970 – The first Dusty Roadrunner activity booklet was created by Eunice Kalloch, Mary Olin Harrell, and Harriet Oyler.
  • 1971 – The first “New Mexico Day” is hosted by KNMB in recognition of the State of New Mexico birthday (January 6, 1912) of statehood, as legislated through the Joint Memorial 7.
  • 1971 – KNMB starts recycling efforts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe through a state grant which is managed by Mary Olin Harrell.
  • 1985 – KNMB is mandated as the official New Mexico clearinghouse for beautification by House Bill 198 as amended.
  • 1990 - “Dusty Roadrunner Visits National Monuments” activity booklet was created by a teacher, Shirley Olbert.
  • 2005 – KNMB celebrates it's 40th Anniversary and a legacy of supporting projects to improve communities throughout the Land of Enchantment.

For a more complete history of Keep New Mexico Beautiful, see our timeline.