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Groups help to kick off the Marianas Village Pride campaign in Saipan

Mayor Apatang adopts medians in San Jose

Rotaract organizes weekend clean-up drive in Chalan Kanoa

(Capitol Hill, Saipan, The Marianas – Oct. 6, 2021) The community spirit was on full display last weekend as various groups worked on the medians along a major roadway in Saipan and cleaned areas in the southern part of the island.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang and the Saipan Mayor’s Office staff cleaned and painted medians in San Jose at the Atkins Kroll Toyota intersection on Oct. 2 and teamed up with the Rotaract Club of Saipan for a village cleanup in Chalan Kanoa.

Saipan Mayor Apatang said proper maintenance of the medians is critical to ensuring the safety of motorists and pedestrians while contributing to The Marianas’ overall beautification efforts. The Saipan Mayor’s Office committed to the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers’ (GCEA) Adopt-A-Median initiative by adopting the fourth project under the program. Shirley’s Coffee Shop/Shirley’s Football Club, The Northern Marianas College (NMC), and Life in The Son Christian Fellowship have also committed to adopting medians on Saipan. Mayor Apatang calls on organizations and businesses to follow suit.

The Adopt-A-Median program launched as part of GCEA’s Marianas Village Pride campaign on Oct. 4. The MVP campaign rallies the community to take ownership and responsibility in transforming all villages throughout The Marianas through fun beautification activities and contests.

GCEA thanks the Saipan Mayor Apatang, his team, the Rotaract organization, and its partners for helping to launch the MVP and Adopt-A-Median campaigns.

Schools, groups, families, and businesses can paint medians, sidewalks, or crosswalks in their villages. Students will earn service hours for their participation. GCEA will provide the paint and supplies, and the project can be completed in an afternoon or weekend. Email or visit the MVP website for more information.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO In this combo photo, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang talks to members and officials of Rotaract and its partners, while volunteers pick up trash during a village cleanup drive in Chalan Kanoa last Saturday.

Rotaract’s pilot village cleanup project supported by students and community

More than 50 individuals from Saipan Southern High School, Marianas High School, Saipan International School, and Kagman High School Interact, NMC First Army Officer Club, Northern Marianas College, and the Saipan Mayor’s Office Dog Control Program joined the Rotaract’s pilot clean-up drive on Oct. 2. The volunteers cleaned up the roadways surrounding William S. Reyes Elementary School and from Susupe Lake to Sugar Dock beachside.

The turnout was unexpected, according to Rotaract president Richard Baleares. “A major challenge that Rotaract anticipated was the number of volunteers who would show up. I was surprised and delighted at the turnout on the day of the clean-up. Leading up to the weekend, we had only a handful of people, and I thought we’d be lucky to get more than six on the day of the clean-up. With the strong turnout, we were able to cover a lot of ground, picked up more trash, and got the job done faster than expected,” said Baleares.

“Residents were also surprised to see the mass of volunteers cleaning in their villages,” said Joann Aquino, director of operations for the Saipan Mayor’s Office. “We didn't expect such a large group of young volunteers from other organizations besides the Rotaract to take part in this clean-up. It was amazing to see them show up with passion and commitment to do something good to benefit the village of Chalan Kanoa, regardless of whether they lived there or not. Our youth are taking action today to preserve their environment for tomorrow, and what they are doing is very empowering!”

The group collected 1,040 lbs. of garbage during the clean-up. Volunteers noted their appreciation for the acknowledgment they received from residents, who were waving at them, honking their horns, and rolling their windows down to thank them.

Rotaract and its partners encourage the community to play an active role in taking care of all villages in The Marianas.

“We have been privileged to call these beautiful islands our home and we should not take it for granted,” Baleares added. “We all play a part in keeping our islands clean, and we must work together in doing so. It will benefit us all in the end. Even the smallest acts, such as not littering, removing stray trash, disposing of garbage properly, and keeping personal areas clean can go a long way toward a cleaner Marianas.”

Baleares noted that after the success of the Chalan Kanoa clean-up, Rotaract will be planning projects for other villages.

Mayor Apatang lauded the volunteers in last weekend’s village clean-up and renewed his call for support to the Marianas Village Pride campaign.

Mayor Apatang said, “We live in a unique time and are facing unique challenges – from a pandemic with devastating consequences to threats from climate change. For us to survive and thrive, we need to act together. A clean environment is essential for healthy living. We should all take ownership and responsibility for keeping our islands clean and beautiful. My office can only do so much, and we can all change the way we think and take pride in where we live. I humbly ask the entire community to come together and bring back their village pride.”

For more information about the Adopt-A-Median and Marianas Village Pride Campaign, visit the GCEA website at or contact them at GCEA invites the community to engage, like, and share its MVP content on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmieconomy) and to tag MVP-related photos to be featured on GCEA’s platforms (#BeAnMVP, #MarianasVillagePride, and #TogetherWeCanMarianas).


Media Contact:

Edna Nisola

Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers


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