Donations support parks upkeep

Posted on Feb 24 1999

Due to limited budget, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources has been able to carry out the necessary improvements in various beaches, parks and grounds through donations from businesses on the island.

According to Antonio Benavente, director of the Division of Parks and Ground, the completion of Kagman Marine Beach Park was made possible by the $72,800 donation of the firm that owns LaoLao Bay Golf Course.

IT&E has donated public playgrounds in Afetna beach in San Antonio, Pau Pau beach and Kagman II park. Talafofo beach park was completed by the owner of Kingfisher Golf Course.

With only a $50,000 appropriation this year, the division’s budget only covers maintenance of the sites and equipment. Based on the estimate, the division needs $1 million to be able to maintain 32 public beaches and parks, recreational facilities and grounds of government offices.

Pau Pau Beach Park needs some $250,000 for the construction of additional pavilions just like the ones that were established in Kilili Beach Park.

Development of parks also depend on the priority given by the Department of Public Works which is also given limited funds. In most instances, the division would ask offices that requests for assistance to pay for fuel or oil needed for the use of the equipment.

MVA has likewise been doing its own share in maintaining beach areas that are under its responsibility. It has been continuously carrying out beach clean up campaign and has asked the assistance of businesses along Garapan area, Saipan’s commercial district to help in the cleanliness drive.

Environmental officials have noted that the sewage system in some areas of Garapan have been clogged due to dumping of waste in canals which eventually goes to the beaches.

Hotel executives have expressed concern on the problem of polluted beach waters since it has been the selling point in marketing the Northern Marianas abroad.

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