Friday, July 14, 2006

Trees so far: 276

Saipan Tribune, Friday, July 14, 2006

Beautify CNMI plants 276 trees, eyes 600 more
By Ferdie de la Torre

The Beautify CNMI's restoration committee is targeting to plant 600 more trees on the island this Sunday, according to Rep. Jacinta M. Kaipat.

In an e-mail to the Saipan Tribune, Kaipat said the tree planting will be held at the watershed area in Laulau at 8am.

The restoration committee needs volunteers to collect and propagate plants, especially the native ones, said Kaipat, chairperson for the House's Judiciary and Governmental Operations and one of the forces behind Beautify CNMI.

Since June 19, 2006, a total of 22 flame trees and 254 coconut saplings have already been planted along Beach Road in Garapan by members of the restoration committee, Filipino organization MOVERS, Department of Public Works, Division of Parks and Recreation and civilian volunteers.

Parks and Recreation donated all flame trees, while the public donated all coconut saplings.

With respect to other project, Kaipat said the Northern Marianas College's current issues class helped Beautify CNMI's plan for Middle Road.

Kaipat said the students interviewed residents and businesses along Middle Road and found that most people wanted more lighting, more plants and sidewalks.

Regarding the anti-littering/junk goods committee, the congresswoman said the group would launch its zero tolerance campaign this October. As part of the campaign, she said, a training for litter control apprehending officers will be conducted on Aug. 21.

Kaipat said Public Law 6-37 or the Commonwealth Litter Control Act identifies eight agencies to apprehend litter violators: the Marianas Visitors Authority, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Office of the Mayor, Department of Public Safety, and Division of Environmental Quality.

On the recycling committee, Kaipat said the group is planning to expand recycling effort at other community events such as Street Market, Sabalo Market, and SCC Corporate Challenge.

For the school recycling project, the committee agreed to begin with a few schools for such pilot recycling project such as prioritizing elementary schools beginning with Garapan Elementary School.

The recycling committee kicked off its awareness program at the Liberation and Micro Games events.

The Filipino groups Power Inc. and CNMI Power were the key volunteers who assisted committee members and volunteers.

Kaipat said the publicity committee, on the other hand, is going to launch the Beautify CNMI logo competition in mid-August, ending in mid-September.

"The committee will draft guidelines and judging criteria as well as organize judges and artist meetings," she added.

Beautify CNMI is a coalition of various agencies, private sector, non-profit organizations, private citizens and visitors. Its mission is to foster community pride through a comprehensive beautification campaign aimed at enhancing the beauty of the island environments and the people's quality life through public education on recycling, restoration, waste management, and enforcement of laws.

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