The Adopt-a-Place program of the Saipan & Northern Islands Municipal Council supports the government-sponsored tourism initiative in the CNMI, according to council chair Ramon B. Camacho.
Camacho said that beautifying the islands generally helps destination enhancement efforts in the Commonwealth, which profoundly relies on tourism industry to generate economic activities.
He noted that the program was put in place even before the government started an initiative to strengthen the tourism business in the Northern Marianas.
The main goal of Adopt-a-Place is to bring together the business sector and other members of the community in maintaining designated places, instilling a sense of ownership and care among participants.
Through the program, eyesores such as overgrown vegetation are removed, which also results in a decline in the number of unacceptable or criminal activities.
The underlying principle of Adopt-a-Place, Camacho said, is community-based participation as the CNMI collectively works on nurturing its No. 1 industry.
Program involvement at the grassroots level breaks the culture of relying on the government.
According to Camacho, more and more people in the community are seeing the value of Adopt-a-Place, be it business establishments, civic groups, or private individuals. Just last Saturday, the Sabalu Farmers Market Association extended the area that it has adopted, now reaching to the beach side of the market site in Susupe.
He said the council has come up with a map of the entire island, which would mark the areas that have already been adopted and distinguish them from those that still need to be adopted.
“It really makes sense to bring the community together, regardless of ethnicity or other affiliation, and work cooperatively in maintaining the island of Saipan, which is home to all of us,” added Camacho.