Friday, November 30, 2007

Goings on

Hafa Adai,

PTI has generously donated a cellphone to MINA to help us with the coordination of Beautify CNMI. They are also donating DSL to help us with our day to day operations.

The new Beautify CNMI volunteer line is 285-MINA (6462). Please save that number!

Thank you PTI!

We've got a few non-volunteer events going on this weekend. I hope you can make it!

Friday (today)

The USS Germantown is in town with 700 sailors and marines. On Friday morning, 100 marines are going to be paired up with 100 elementary students from Garapan Elementary for a cleanup of the Garapan Tourist District set to begin at 9:30 AM. We are going to meet at the AMP Parking lot. Everyone is invited to participate, but it would be great if we could get people from MVA, Fiesta, Hyatt, and PDM Promoters to attend. This is already going to be a huge event. Let's make it even bigger.

I'll have garbage bags and gloves for everyone. I'm going to provide water, unless someone wants to donate some (hint, hint). The soldiers are going to bring lunch.

People who attend the Friday cleanup will be invited for a special tour of the USS Germantown on Saturday morning. After the tour we'll have lunch in the ship's messhall. They're not giving open tours to the public, so this may be your only chance to see the ship!


Everyone who attended the cleanup of Garapan on Friday will be invited to a tour of the USS Germantown. I'll give out the details at the cleanup on Friday, but the tour will be on Saturday morning.

DEQ also has their monthly cleanup brigade event. This month they will be cleaning Tank Beach. Meet them at Tank Beach in Kagman at 8 AM. Contact Reina Camacho at DEQ for more info, 664-8500.


We've got a handful of Flame Trees left to plant. Thank you to everyone who has adopted one so far. I haven't compiled the numbers (because some were planted while I was gone) and I haven't printed up the certificates, but I know we've planted over 150 Flame Trees this year.

We are going to replace some of the Flame Trees on Beach Road. We're meeting across the street from Naked Fish at 8 AM. If you don't see us, just look for the people with trees and shovels.

Also, kudos to Parks & Recration for putting bush cutter guards around the young trees planted over the last year and a half! Thank you!

If you have any questions, please contact me at 285-MINA (6462)

Have a great weekend,


Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Trees and other fun events

The We Love Saipan Network will host their 11th Blogger Meetup this Wednesday at Java Joes at 7 PM.

Bloggers, Blog Readers, Blogger Wannabes, and people who just like chicken nuggets and coffee are welcome to attend!

The We Love Saipan Network hosts a Blogger meetup on the last Wednesday of every month.


Paseo de Marianas Promoters will be holding their second annual Green Christmas for the Children of the Marianas celebration this week. The main event is the christmas tree decorating contest where 14 different elementary schools decorate a tree with ornaments made from recycled materials.

The decorating starts Wednesday after school and the students will have a chance to continue decorating up until about 5 PM Thursday. The trees will then be judged Thursday at 6 PM. Come down on Wednesday to watch the trees get decorated and come down on Thursday for the tree lighting.

I really enjoyed this event last year. It reminded me of what the Paseo should look like every day, not just on a few nights during the holiday season.

HERE are some pictures from last year.


Feeling community service oriented? Friends of the Mariana Islands will lead a cleanup of the Garapan Tourist District on Sunday morning at 8 AM. Meet up at the American Memorial Park parking lot and bring two friends and water.

The Beautify CNMI coalition will provide trash bags and rubber gloves.

PAWS is looking for volunteers this weekend!

Dear Members of Beautify CNMI!:

Our partner PAWS is participating in this year's CNMI Artists' Holiday Sale at the Multi-Purpose Center and they need your help! There will be almost 40 artists and writers as well as food items for sale during this event (be sure to pick up this month's Island Locator for more information). Items for sale include: paintings, carved Palauan storyboards, holiday ornaments, cards and decorations; jewelry; books; photographs; t-shirts, and other artwork and craft items.

In an effort to raise some funds for the PAWS Education Committee, PAWS will be selling the following items at the Holiday Sale:

  1. Pre-made Christmas dough cookies for children to decorate while parents shop at the Holiday Sale. For a small price/donation, children will be able to decorate dough ornaments with glitter, paint, and other accessories; and
  2. Beaded jewelry made by Lucy Sablan.

PAWS is looking for volunteers to help oversee their holiday table for periods of up to 2 hours. If you and a friend would like to volunteer, please email Katie Busenkell at or Deane Jessee-Jones at with your available time.

The event should be easy and fun, so please join us in the holiday spirit and help us raise money for a worthy cause.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Check Presentation by Aqua Resort Club

Aqua Resort Club will be making a very generous donation to Beautify CNMI during a happy hour presentation in their lobby this Friday, November 16, 2007 from 5-7 PM. The presentation will be made at 6:30. ARC will be providing some food and all drinks will be 50% off the regular price.

Everyone who has been involved with Beautify CNMI is invited to attend. Please come help us celebrate this generous donation.

Some of us are going to have dinner at the Seafood Night buffet afterwards. Dinner is $25 and includes some of the best seafood on Saipan and free beer and champagne.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Underwater Scavenger Hunt

What: Underwater / Beach Clean Up & Scavenger Hunt
When: Sunday November 18th
Where: Sugar Dock
Time: 9AM
Who is this for:
Beach / Topside Clean Up - Everyone.
Underwater Clean Up - Certified SCUBA Divers only!

A PADI Project Aware Event
Tanks and certificates of participation provided by Dive Saipan
Includes a scavenger hunt with prizes!
International recognition

Hello Divers!

As you know Marianas Dive has begun a series of underwater clean ups at popular dive sites around the island. On the third Sunday of every month we meet in the morning to clean a topside area followed by a cool refreshing clean up underwater! So far we've managed to pull out a considerable amount of trash from the beach and dive sites at Lau Lau Bay and Obyan while having a good time doing it!

This coming Sunday November 18th we will be meeting again at 9AM, this time at Sugar Dock. Although not well known as a "dive site” many people, including tourists, take their first real breaths underwater right here- right next to one of the most popular piers on island! While other agencies such as DEQ, CRM, BCNMI and NMDOA have made great strides in keeping this area clean there is always more that can be done, especially underwater.

That's why we are calling on all divers, dive shops and organizations to help support this effort. In addition to being good for the environment and our tourism industry we will also be seeking international recognition by making this a PADI Project Aware event open to anyone that wants to pitch in. Thanks to Mr. Lee at Dive Saipan each participant will receive a Project Aware certificate and a group photograph will be sent to PADI for publication in The Undersea Journal giving individuals and businesses involved worldwide recognition for their help in keeping our environment pristine!

In addition to the Project Aware materials Dive Saipan will provide tanks for anyone that needs one while DEQ will provide trash bags and a limited number of mesh bags for use underwater. At this time we are also looking for surface dive floats and additional mesh bags as we are anticipating a good turn out of volunteers. If you, your dive shop or organization can help out in this regard it would be very much appreciated and recognized in the official press releases.

Another exciting twist to this event will be the placement of prize vouchers underwater turning the clean up into a real live scavenger hunt rewarding those with sharp eyes and attention to detail.

As always the underwater portion is restricted to certified divers but the topside trash collection is open to anyone that wants to help out. As Sugar Dock can be a busy place with boat traffic we are also in the process of coordinating surface support with DPS and boating safety. In addition we plan on having a few kayaks patrolling the surface ensuring divers and boaters don’t meet unless it's for transport to one of our fabulous offshore dive sites following the clean up!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions and if you are able to help out including donations of prizes for the scavenger hunt please let me know. Also, I encourage you to circulate or forward this to anyone who may be interested in helping make this event a success! Together we can make the Marianas a better place to live and dive!

Thanks again for your support and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday for a dive and a morning of fun with fellow divers!


Mike Tripp

Marianas Dive

Friday, November 09, 2007

Plenty to do this weekend

Tonight, November 9, 2007, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM , American Memorial Park will be hosting a Community Interaction in the Auditorium. Guest speakers will introduce the venomous Brown Tree Snake, the nasty and invasive Spanish Pepper Vine and Ranger Nancy will be showing folks how easy it is to recycle. Click HERE for more info.

Tomorrow, November 10, 2007, from 8:00 AM til lunch time, CRM, DLNR, MINA, NRCS, and other volunteers will carryout the first phase of the Obyan Beach Revegetation project. Equipment, supplies, and saplings... were made possible through funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA awarded to MINA and CRM. DLNR forestry tirelessly did the prep work by growing the saplings, and Beautify CNMI! will be donating refreshments; truly a coalition effort. MINA will also be raffling a pass for two people to attend their WaterPark and Lunch fundraiser at PIC on November 12. See you tomorrow! Click HERE for more info.

Also tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM, join Park Rangers and Volunteers at American Memorial Park in planting beautiful new Flame Trees and Golden Showers as part of the Arbor Day celebration. After planting the trees, AMP will lead the volunteers to the protected wetland to dig up those awful Spanish Pepper Vines. Then everyone will have lunch!!! Our cooperating association, the Arizona Memorial Museum Association is providing a light lunch for us after all that hard work. Click HERE for more info.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, DEQ has their monthly Cleanup Brigade, meeting at Sugar Dock at 8 AM tomorrow. This month, outstanding brigade volunteers who participated in at least ten (10) monthly cleanups will receive a brigade cap and those who participated in at least three (3) cleanups will receive a green brigade t-shirt. For more information call 664-8500.

Obyan Revegetation Announcement

What: Obyan Revegetation Project
Where: the old (blocked off) lower parking area upland from the Japanese bunker at Obyan Beach
When: THIS Saturday, November 10th, 8:00 am
Contact: Kathy Yuknavage, 664-8311, or

CRM in partnership with the DLNR, Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA), and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will be holding a Beautify CNMI! planting event at Obyan beach this Saturday, November 10th. The planting activity will reduce upland erosion at Obyan.

As many beach goers have observed, the coral road leading to Obyan regularly washes out during heavy rains. Stormwater gouges the soil, exposing important archeological artifacts to the elements, and then carries the soil to the shoreline. The soil or “sediment” enters the water reducing visibility for divers, and harms coral by preventing sunlight from nourishing the living organisms within its skeleton. The sediment eventually settles out on the corals’ surface, further stressing the coral reef’s health.

DLNR forestry experts will be teaching volunteers how to use various non-point source (NPS) pollution prevention “Best Management Practices” (BMP) to disperse stormwater run off. The BMPs are part of a comprehensive Conservation Planting Plan for Obyan created by the NRCS. Saturday’s planting event is just the first of many phases contained within the plan. People interested in learning how to implement BMPs, about other phases of the plan, or just wanting to help are invited to join volunteers from MINA, the Boy Scouts of America, and other Beautify CNMI! volunteers this Saturday, 8:00 am, in Obyan’s paved parking area.

Volunteers should bring sturdy work gloves, a hat, and sunscreen. Light refreshments will be provided and a raffle drawing will be held at the end of the event. Two lucky winners will be given (2) water park passes and a buffet lunch at PIC on November 12th, as part of MINA’s fundraising activities. Funds raised through ticket sales will be used to support MINA’s second Teachers’ Environmental Education Camp next summer. If interested, please contact Kathy Yuknavage at for more information.

American Memorial Park Announces Arbor Day

Join in on the fun of planting beautiful new trees and digging up the roots of the nasty and invasive Spanish Pepper Vine!

Friday, November 9, 2007, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM American Memorial Park will be hosting a Community Interaction in the Auditorium.

Guest speakers will introduce the venomous BROWN TREE SNAKE, the nasty and invasive SPANISH PEPPER VINE and Ranger Nancy will be showing folks how easy it is to recycle. Our guests will be interacting with our community neighbors on all levels. Light refreshments will follow.

The Brown Tree Snake is a very big problem on Saipan. We will learn to recognize this super pest and just what makes it our pest. We’ll learn what we can and can not do if we find one.

Rangers from War in the Pacific are flying to Saipan to introduce us to the danger we are in due to the Spanish Pepper Vine. This invasive species was brought to Saipan during World War II as a simple ground cover along the runways at Isley Field. Today, this nasty and pervasive vine is killing every plant on our beautiful island.

Ranger Nancy will get together with folks and figure out all the great stuff that can be recycled. We’ll discover different ways to use or recycle most of what we have in our trash cans. We will even go visit our great Recycling Center in Lower Base, by way of a slide show!!

Saturday morning at 7:00 AM, join Park Rangers and Volunteers in planting beautiful new Flame Trees and Golden Showers. We’ll go to the protected wetland and dig up those awful Spanish Pepper Vines. Then we’ll have lunch!!! Our cooperating association, the Arizona Memorial Museum Association is providing a light lunch for us after all that hard work.

So come on along and have more fun that a barrel of monkeys!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Molly Kramis Celebrates CNMI Arbor Day on October 27 and Spreads Beautify CNMI Beauty Virus in Montana

Molly Kramis of Bellingham, Washington, continues to spread beautifycnmi's beauty virus! Here she is shown with the Ponderosa Pine she recently planted in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana. Molly picked the Ponderosa because of its beauty and----it is the Montana State tree. This particular tree is special because it was given to Molly by Anna, a wonderful 20 month old here who is deaf. With this tree, Molly honors Anna and all the deaf and hard of hearing children in the CNMI.

Note: Molly also lives with Masters Ron and Nancy Kramis. We thank Molly, Ron, Nancy & Anna for spreading the Beautify CNMI beauty virus and for honoring the deaf children of the CNMI.