The local power monopoly, Public Service Company of New Mexico, wants to give away money. Although according to investor reports the amount is only one-half of one percent of last year's profits, the energy company says it will offer $500,000 as investments in New Mexico communities.

PNM aims to award four $50,000 "Power Up" grants and 20 grants of $15,000. Nonprofit organizations may submit proposals for projects which will create or improve public spaces, neighborhoods or parks. According to PNM, the grants will be awarded June 30, and the organizations will have about eight weeks to complete their projects.

Although this is the first year for this particular program, last year PNM celebrated the 30th anniversary of its shareholder-funded PNM Foundation by awarding $300,000 in grants to 32 organizations across New Mexico. Those grant winners included El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, which built a garden and streetscape near its entrance, New Mexico Land Conservancy, which constructed trails and restored lands at the Petchesky Conservation Center and the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute, which installed a water filtration system.

Scott Wilber, executive director of the New Mexico Land Conservancy, says his organization plans to apply for a grant. The conservancy want to use the funds to make further improvements at the Petchesky Conservation Center, which contains 262 acres of protected land on the Southside.

"We're applying for an outdoor event facility. We plan to tie it in with the trail system we have on the property," Wilber says.

According to the organization, the event center will help raise funds for conservation efforts and educate people about land conservation.

Proposals are due May 31, and more information can be found at