Marianas Variety, Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Beautify CNMI continues to build pride, make the island a better place
By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa
Variety News Staff
SINCE the establishment of Beautify CNMI in June, the group has been cleaning beaches and planting trees along Beach Road, Laolao Bay and the Grotto area.
The group has planted 1,547 flame trees, coconut trees and daok trees in various places around the island.
Angelo Villagomez, public involvement coordinator of the Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council, said the trees they have planted will one day provide a beautiful canopy for people driving and riding bikes or running along the roads of the Grotto area and Beach Road.
Villagomez said members of MOVER, volunteers from the forestry division, the Division of Environmental Quality, the Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council, the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance, the offices of Reps. Cinta Kaipat, Waki Absalom, students and other private individuals have been active in Beautify CNMI’s cleaning and tree planting activities.
On Aug. 13, the group planted 65 daok trees along the road leading to the Grotto.
On Aug. 19, the group conducted its monthly beach cleanup at Wing Beach. Students from Saipan Southern High School helped pick up over 300 pounds of trash from the beach.
The group also conducted a stream cleanup at Laolao Bay.
Villagomez said some people are using the Laolao watershed as an illegal dumping site.
When it rains heavily, garbage is washed out into the reef flat which pollutes the water and can kill wildlife, Villagomez said.
He said they hauled out 1,820 pounds of trash including three washing machines, an old sofa and a mattress from Laolao Bay on Aug. 20.
On Sunday, Aug. 27, the group was joined by volunteers from the Board of Parole, the Church of Latter Day Saints and Koblerville Elementary School in cleaning up the area around the Koblerville substation.
Villagomez said volunteers used machetes and sickles to cut down the brush choking the plumeria trees, and they cut the grass along the road using bush cutters.
The group also painted over the graffiti at the Koblerville substation.
The paint supplies were donated by Rep. Kaipat, Covenant-Saipan, and the Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council.
The yard waste was picked up by staffers from the offices of Kaipat and Waki, Covenant-Saipan.
Beautify CNMI also collected thousands of pounds of recyclable bottles and cans during the Micronesian Games, the Liberation Day festivities and the Garapan Street Market.
Beautify CNMI is a coalition of government agencies, the 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 environment and the quality life through public education on recycling, restoration, waste management, and enforcement of laws.
Villagomez said Beautify CNMI is always looking for volunteers to help with their island improvement efforts.
This weekend, Beautify CNMI will be working at Laolao Bay and will be joined by volunteers from DEQ.
The group will plant native trees on the Laolao hillsides.
The meeting place will be the Santa Soledad Church at 8 a.m.
For more information call DEQ at 664-8500 or Angelo Villagomez at 483-1078.