Sunday, June 11, 2006

Beautify CNMI in the News

Saipan Tribune, Saturday, June 10, 2006

Beautify CNMI takes off with projects in sight
Story by Ferdie de la Torre

The "Beautify CNMI," a coalition of different government agencies and private sector, was officially launched yesterday with the announcement of various ongoing and upcoming community projects.

During a news briefing at the Division of Environmental Quality's conference room in Gualo Rai, Tina Sablan, chair of the Group's recycling subcommittee, briefly explained the history behind the establishment of the Beautify CNMI.

Sablan also read the group's mission or vision, which was prepared by Rep. Cinta Kaipat.

Sablan said the vision is to put up a "comprehensive and collaborative partnership between the citizens of the Commonwealth, the government and private sectors, and non-profit organization by establishing a comprehensive beautification campaign through enhancement and enforcement of legislation through public education on recycling, restoration and waste management."

She said the goal of the recycling subcommittee is to reduce waste through the promotion of recycling on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

"We focused on three pilot projects," said Sablan, citing the ongoing recycling awareness program at Fishing Base, the site of the Liberation Day carnival.

"We've got Power Inc. volunteers monitoring the ground, collecting aluminum cans and plastic bottles from the carnival ground," she said.

The Division of Environmental Quality provided the recycling bins, while Pacific Trading contributed the banners, and the Saipan Chamber of Commerce gave the cash incentive.

Sablan said their two other projects are a school recycling program and a Managaha recycling program.

Angelo Villagomez, who appeared at the conference on behalf of restoration subcommittee chairman Ken Kramer, mentioned three projects that they are going to implement.

"Saipan is a beautiful place, but there are a few areas on island that need a little improvement. That's where the restoration sub-committee comes in," Villagomez said.

Villagomez said their first priority is tree planting.

"Later this month, members and volunteers are going to replace some of the damaged and dying flame trees on Beach Road in conjunction with some government agencies," he said.

Kramer's group also has plans to plant trees throughout the island during the rainy season.

"We already identified Airport Road, Middle Road, and the northern part of the island as areas where we want to do our first planting," Villagomez said.

In the meantime, he said they are looking for volunteers who could donate old five-gallon containers that they can use as planters.

In their improvement pilot project, Villagomez said they have identified the Middle Road area between Pizza Hut and Chalan Monsignor Guerrero intersection as the place that will benefit from the restoration plan.

He said they are working on the project with the Coastal Resources Management and Northern Marianas College to come up with the plan on how to improve the area.

Finally, Villagomez said, they are going to work on the restoration and the protection of numerous historic sites.

Also present in the conference were subcommittee officials and members Lysander Tudela of NMC, Tony Benavente of the Mayor's Office, and Steve Hiney of the Department of Public Works. They also disclosed their group's projects.

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