Monday, September 25, 2006

RC&D helps Beautify CNMI launch their website!

Saipan Tribune, Monday, September 25, 2006

Beautify CNMI Website Launched

Beautify CNMI's new website is now online and it can be found at has photos, stories, newspaper articles, and videos of Beautify CNMI's activities over the last several months. There are also links to the Beautify CNMI members, donors, and supporters.

Angelo Villagomez, Coral Reef Public Involvement Coordinator with the Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council said, "The format of the new website is a blog, which is short for web log. A blog is great format for an action-oriented group like Beautify CNMI. We are always bringing in new members and working on new activities and a blog allows us to use words, pictures, and video to showcase our coalition in ways that a traditional, more static website can not."

He added, "A blog also allows us to have several people contribute content to the site, much in the same way that multiple people contribute to the success of Beautify CNMI. Right now the contributors are Tina Sablan and Reina Camacho from DEQ, Congresswoman Cita Kaipat, and myself, but we are on the lookout for more people."

Beautify CNMI is a coalition of concerned citizens, private groups, and government entities united to enhance the CNMI's natural beauty and foster community pride in its residents and visitors.

Beautify CNMI member Bali Steel is paying for the hosting of the website. (PR)

Friday, September 22, 2006

That's what the GIS specialist is for

Yesterday, with the help of Coastal Resources Management, we finished mapping out the areas we revegetated this year up at the Lao Lao Revegetation Project. This is just a little video of Tim Lang, CRM Non Point Source Manager, and me trying to look like we know how to use the GIS backpack.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

NMC Students

Yesterday I brought 10 Northern Marianas Students, 2 teachers, and a GIS specialist up to the Lao Lao Revegetation Project. These field trips are a lot more fun now that there are over 700 saplings to look at. The students could already identify a lot of the tree species. I was impressed.

We brought 14 trees with us and planted them on the hillside. It was a small scale planting, intended to just give the students an idea of what a tree planting at Lao Lao involves.

After our site visit we drove down to the dive site and cleaned up the litter on the beach. The students picked up 40 lbs of trash. Again, this was a small scale trash pickup, intended to give the students an idea of what a trash pickup is like.

It is amazing how much illegally dumped trash and litter we have removed from the streams and the beach in the Lao Lao watershed.

During our first Stream Team cleanup with the Hopwood Jr High School students we removed 440 lbs, then with our Stream Team cleanup with MOVER and Beautify CNMI we removed 1820 lbs, and with DEQ's monthly Cleanup Brigade we helped removed 820 lbs from the beach...and there's still more there!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Grand Prize: $500

Marianas RC&D has been heavily involved in the activities of Beautify CNMI. As such, we will be one of the judges for the upcoming logo contest.

First prize is $500. Please click on the link below for the contest rules.

The Beautify CNMI logo contest has been extended until September 21. Please pass this link along. The contest is open to all residents of the CNMI.

Click HERE for the Beautify CNMI logo contest rules

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lao Lao Finished!

We finished the scope of work for 2006 for the Lao Lao Revegetation Project over the weekend. 35 volunteers and staff from various CNMI Watershed Group agencies planted 120 trees on the deforested hillsides.

While this planting should have been the most difficult to date (because we were hiking to an area of the project that is down a steep hillside), it turned out to be our smoothest planting yet because we are all now experienced tree planters. Instead of forming a human chain to get the trees up the mountain (and then down the steep slope), we made the guys carry six trees each. Although it was slightly more difficult than passing a single tree along at a time, it ended up being much more efficient. We were able to get all of the trees up the mountain in one trip.

CNMI Forestry has already started growing the trees for next year's plantings. We will plant them during the onset of next year's rainy season. In the meantime, we won't have to hike up the mountain trail for another year...unless of course we want to bring more students up there for Outdoor Classrom Experiences.

And pictures from the final day of the project:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Beautify CNMI has a busy month of August

Saipan Tribune, Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Over the last few weeks, Beatify CNMI members have been busy making the island a more beautiful place to visit and live.

On Aug. 13, Beautify CNMI members Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council, MOVER, and CNMI Forestry planted 64 Daok trees along the road leading to the Grotto. When these trees are taller, they will provide a beautiful canopy for people driving, riding bikes, or running along the road.

On Saturday, Aug. 19, Beautify CNMI member MINA held their monthly beach cleanup at Wing Beach. The members, along with four new student members from Saipan Southern High School, picked up over 300 lbs of trash on the beach.

On Sunday, Aug. 20, volunteers from MOVER, Marianas RC&D, and Rep. Cinta Kaipat's Office participated in a stream cleanup in Lao Lao Bay. People are using the streams draining the Lao Lao watershed as illegal dumping sites. When it rains heavily all of that garbage is washed out onto the reef flat, where it pollutes the water and has the potential to kill wildlife.

Volunteers pulled out 1,820 lbs of trash, including three washing machines, an old sofa, and a mattress.

On Aug. 19 and 27, Beautify CNMI members Marianas RC&D, MOVER, Board of Parole, Church of Latter Day Saints, Koblerville Elementary School and Rep. Cinta Kaipat's Office cleaned up the area around the Koblerville substation. Volunteers used machetes and sickles to cut down the brush choking out the plumeria trees, then they cut the grass along the road using bush cutters. They also painted over all of the graffiti on the Koblerville Substation. The paint and paint supplies were donated by Kaipat and Marianas RC&D. The yard waste was picked up by the offices of Reps. Absalon Waki and Kaipat.

Beautify CNMI is always looking for volunteers to help with their island improvement efforts. This weekend Beautify CNMI will be working in Lao Lao Bay.

"On Saturday we are partnering with DEQ for a beach cleanup along Lao Lao Beach. Please contact DEQ at 664-8500 for details. On Sunday we are partnering with the CNMI Watershed group to plant native trees on the Lao Lao hillsides. We are meeting at the Santa Soledad Church at 8am. Contact Angelo Villagomez at Marianas RC&D at 483-1078 to volunteer," the group said in a statement.

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.

Beautify CNMI has planted 1547 trees on Saipan since June. Beautify CNMI also collected thousands of pounds of recyclable bottles and cans at the Micronesian Games, Liberation Day Festival, and Garapan Street Market (PR)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

RC&D in the News

Saipan Tribune, Saturday, September 02, 2006

Villagomez applauds beautification efforts

Acting Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez is putting his hands together for community groups that have been lending a hand to beautifying the islands.

"I'd like to express my overall appreciation for the widespread support of the beautification groups that have been helping to make our islands more attractive," said Villagomez yesterday. "From beaches to roadsides to public buildings, you can see the results of their hard work."

Last Sunday, Aug. 27, the coalition Beautify CNMI completed the second week of cleanup in Koblerville, topped off with a fresh coast of paint for the Koblerville substation.

Beautify CNMI is a group 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 of life through public education on recycling, restoration, waste management, and enforcement of laws.

"It's about taking pride in our neighborhoods," said Villagomez about the upswing in beautification projects. "Every tourist and every resident deserves to enjoy a clean neighborhood and environment in our islands, and we are fortunate to have community groups setting the example in these areas."

Earlier this month Beautify CNMI organized approximately 30 restoration volunteers who hauled 1,820 lbs. of illegally dumped garbage from the streams of Laulau Bay. The haul included two washing machines, a couch, a mattress and other assorted trash.

"It's more than a little shocking, the kind of stuff that people deliberately dump in some of the most beautiful and remote spots on our island," said Environmental Specialist and Beautify CNMI member Tina Sablan of the Division of Environmental Quality. "But what a great demonstration of community involvement and care from our volunteers who responded to the call for help."

Groups participating in recent Beautify CNMI projects include MOVERS, Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council, Representative Cinta Kaipat and staff members, students of Koberville Elementary and Saipan Southern High, and other volunteers. The Division of Environmental Quality and Department of Public Safety are also collaborating to step up enforcement of littering and illegal dumping laws. Violations should be reported immediately to the authorities. (PR)