Friday, April 03, 2009

Sign up for the Island Wide Cleanup

I am working with the Division of Environmental Quality, Marianas Visitors Authority, Rotary Club of Saipan, and Marianas Tourism Education Council to coordinate an island wide cleanup for April 17, 2009.

The concept for the cleanup is simple: If several thousand people spend just a couple of hours doing something to improve the islands on the day of the cleanup, the following morning the islands will look pretty nice.

This will make our islands look pretty snazzy in time for Earth Day and for Tourism Month in May.

The coordinators are asking people, businesses, government agencies, schools, and homes to spend an hour or two doing a cleanup at anytime on Friday, April 17, 2009. If you want to adopt a beach that is great, but we are encouraging people to adopt the area near their place of business. Governor Fitial has agreed to allow ALL government agencies to participate during working hours. More information on that should be forthcoming from DEQ and the Governor's Office.

I hope you can participate. I've created a simple signup sheet that will help us track our activities. If you would like me to send you one, please email me at angelovillagomez at gmail dot com. After you fill it out, please either fax or email it back in.

Island Wide Cleanup sign ups begin

The first 50 people have signed up for the Island Wide Cleanup slated to take place on April 17, 2009. The Saipan Mayor’s Office and the Office of Personnel Management were the first organizations to turn in their sign up sheets.

The Office of Personnel Management has adopted the Garapan Fishing Base and has pledged to recruit 20 volunteers to help beautify the area. Likewise, the Saipan Mayor’s Office has adopted Beach Road from Afetnas to Koblerville and has pledged 30 staff for roadside trash collection.

“Our first two signups adopted the roads and areas near their offices. This is what we envisioned when we started planning this cleanup,” said co-organizer Joe Kaipat of Division of Environmental Quality. “We hope to get at least 5000 volunteers this year,” he added.

According to the organizers, the goal of this year’s island wide cleanup is to recruit at least 5000 volunteers to spend a few hours beautifying the islands, whether it is by picking up litter on a road or beach, painting over graffiti, planting a few trees, or participating in some other activity.

The cleanup organizers are encouraging participants to adopt a spot near their homes, offices, or schools, although some organizations will adopt beaches and/or tourist sites.

The organizers are encouraging the community to get involved as much as possible.

Event co-organizer Angelo Villagomez said, “It would be great if we could get a few families to adopt the roads near their homes. We want people to take ownership and responsibility for the upkeep of their areas of the island.”

The Marianas Visitors Authority is providing funds for garbage bags, rubber gloves, and some paint and the Division of Environmental Quality has pledged to assist with transferring solid waste collected to the transfer station in Lower Base. Supplies, if needed, will be available for pickup at the Division of Environmental Quality.

Division of Environmental Quality, Rotary Club of Saipan, Marianas Visitors Authority, and Marianas Tourism Education Council are the co-organizers of the island wide cleanup.

For more information on the how to participate in the cleanup, contact Joe Kaipat at 664-8500 or Angelo Villagomez at 285-6462 or via Email at angelovillagomez@gmail.com.

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