Uplifting the Spirit using my voice & talent.


Beautiful gardens in our community don’t just magically appear.  They flourish because of those who tend them with hard work and loving care.  Joseph Lobato is devoted to tending his gardens—the one at his Santa Fe residence and the other more expansive landscape we call New Mexico.

48-year-old Lobato is the Executive Director of New Mexico Clean and Beautiful—a program of the N.M. Tourism Department.  Joe is responsible for coordinating the efforts of 19 affiliates and 31 programs across the state.

He also planted the seed for the highly successful, 11-year Trek for Trash with former Governor Gary Johnson and the “Toss No Mas” program.  Joe has also been extremely active at the national level serving as Chairman and board member of Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

When Joe is not beautifying our environment, he’s enjoying volleyball, playing guitar, exploring genealogy, and most importantly, tending to his family.  Joe has been married to Angela Block Lobato for 22 years.  He has two sons, Matthew and Jared.

1. Carla:  What is the single most important thing we can do to keep New Mexico Clean and Beautiful and why is it important to you?

Joe: The single most important thing we can do to keep New Mexico Clean & Beautiful, is take responsibility for our own actions and be aware of the beauty that surrounds us.  Where ever we live in this beautiful state of ours, it is up to all of us to keep it looking like the Land of Enchantment.

When people ask me where I work and I tell them that I work with New Mexico Clean & Beautiful– an explanation usually follows.  I explain that it is a litter control and beautification project.  The first impression they get is that we go around picking up litter.  We do coordinate and organize community cleanups, but our mission is to educate and engage individuals into taking greater responsibility for their community environments to include beautification. That means we rely on community volunteers to help us in our projects… which include cleanup, planting trees, landscaping, recycling, graffiti and weed eradication, or education projects.  There are not enough resources to pick up after us.  We are the ones who are creating our own situations and we should be the ones to pick up after ourselves.

2. Carla: Why do you enjoy gardening so much?

Joe: I was fortunate enough when I was growing up that the two primary electronics were television and radio, so it left a lot of time for going outdoors.  I would help water the lawn, trees and flowers in our yard.  I would be right alongside my dad pruning, raking, building walkways and whatever needed to be done outside.

I also lived in Las Nutrias near Chama when I was five, with my mom’s sister, brothers and sister-in-law.  I had the run of the ranch where my mom grew up.  Being outdoors is where my passion for gardening started.

I get ideas for our house by observing my surroundings and make note of the trees, flowers and landscaping that catches my attention.  I like to grow things.  Whether it be trees or plants, there is a great sense of accomplishment when they start to grow and flower.  Working outside gives me a sense of peace within and a lot of satisfaction once a project is complete.

3.  Carla: Have you found any surprises or interesting discoveries while working on your family genealogy?

Joe: Family genealogy has always been a favorite of mine.  I have always been fascinated with the history of who we are, where we have come from, and how and who I am related to.  One surprise I found was that my family had a land grant that started from the front doors of the St. Catherine’s Indian School to Palace Avenue in Santa Fe.  Another interesting discovery on my mom’s side is that my great grandfather was very active in politics in Rio Arriba County.  He was sheriff and he was one of the founding members to the New Mexico constitution.

4.  Carla:  Who has been the greatest influence in your life and how does their influence show through in you?

Joe: The greatest influence in my life would definitely have to be my parents.  They have been married for 58 years.  Through their modeling of commitment, hard work and above all– love, they have created a stable foundation for our family.  “Family comes first” is something that has been instilled in me and they have been there for me, my brother, and sisters consistently throughout our lives.  This commitment of family is not just for their children, but they have also been there for their parents, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces as well.

Their influences show through me as I have a strong work ethic and commitment to my family.  I am fortunate I live in Santa Fe and that many of my family lives here as well.  Most of my social events includes my mom, dad, brother, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, in-laws, and friends.

5.  Carla:  What do you hope you’ve taught your sons about your personal family values?

Joe: My hope is that I have taught my sons the sense of family.  That family means being there for each other in good times and in challenging times.  That love is a very precious thing and relationships take a lot of time and personal effort.

I asked my youngest son Jared about his thoughts on this question and he said, “Family is number one, it is your foundation and your biggest means of support so never turn your back on them or take them for granted.”


September 30, 2009 - Posted by | Joseph Lobato, Santa Fe Hometown News |

1 Comment »

  1. We comin for you joe, watch your back niqqa

    Comment by Jessica Cooper | October 22, 2014 | Reply

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