Several businesses, religious groups, and families are now working on increasing the visual appeal of the island with their participation in the Adopt-a-Place program of the Saipan & Northern Islands Municipal Council.
Twenty-two groups have since joined the program since it went full swing in early 2012. That includes Marpac, which is scheduled to conduct its cleanup at the traffic intersection of Quartermaster along Middle Road this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 6:30am.
Council chair Ramon B. Camacho said yesterday that their office came up with the program to connect with different groups in the community such as nonprofit, religious, business, and even families, in an effort to revitalize neighborhoods and the island in general.
Camacho said the program's main goal is to bring the community together and build a sense of ownership among participants as they get involved in efforts to maintain their own selected places for cleanup.
“If we continue to rely on the government, the community tends to sit back. But if you empower the community, then we can all work together and reduce unacceptable eyesores or criminal activities on the island. The more the community participates, the less problems we're going to be seeing,” he explained.
Camacho noted that involved groups do their best to care for their assigned area because of the hard work they exert for its upkeep.
According to Camacho, what differentiates Adopt-a-Place from similar programs is that it only involves maintaining a specific area that measures less than a mile, including road medians, which he said should be manageable and easy to maintain.
He said the community has been “very positive and receptive” to the program but there are still many areas on island that need to be covered by the program. That means other groups are still welcome to join Adopt-a-Place.
He disclosed plans to meet with various ethnic groups on island as well as the Public School System through Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed D. Camacho said he will try to work with Sablan and figure out how they can involve high school students, allowing young learners to earn extra credits.
“It would be nice to see more and more groups coming together and taking steps to work on this program because it will benefit all of us,” Camacho told Saipan Tribune.
Once the island is revitalized, it would be easier to promote Saipan as a tourist destination, Camacho pointed out. “It should start among us, the members of this community.”
To join the program or for more information, visit the Saipan & Northern Islands Municipal Council next to the post office in Chalan Kanoa or call 664-2700 or 01.