Published 3rd May 2019, 10:9am
The Cayman Islands is well-known for its pristine white sandy beaches and clean neighborhoods that draw millions of visitors from around the globe - none of whom come to see the garbage that accumulates on the coastline or roadways. Civil servants did their part by scouring districts and the shorelines as well as taking on a beautifying project to celebrate Earth Day throughout April 2019.
With Earth Day officially falling on an annual holiday - Easter Monday -it meant that instead of one weekend dedicated to a collection of discarded trash, there was a scheduled cleanup on nearly every weekend of the month.
Civil Servants collected 100-plus bags of trash containing plastic bottles and caps, aluminum cans, Styrofoam cups and containers, rope, fishing line, and old clothing, among other items.
Department of Planning (DOP) kicked off the cleanup on 5 April along the coastline of the Manse Road. In just a few hours, the dedicated crew of 10 collected over 25 bags of garbage.
“It was quite an experience,” said DOP Office Administrator Joy Watson.
“Our islands are known for their exquisite white sand beaches, crystal clear water, vibrant coral reefs teeming with fish, and safe, clean neighborhoods. We did our part to keep it pristine," she added.
Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration participated in the Chamber of Commerce Earth Day Clean up on Saturday, 13 April. The group of 10 staff (about ˝ of the core Ministry staff) along with family members picked up a dozen bags of garbage, including recyclables like plastic and glass bottles, in the Walker’s Road Chief HR Officer Briana Ebanks said, “Our Ministry participates Chamber’s annual Earth Day as part of our community service effort to Make Cayman Better,.”
“It also is a great team building and wellness exercise for our team. Team members enjoyed the camaraderie and were happy to be a part of the clean-up efforts for Earth Day,” she added.
On the last weekend of (27 April), 23 Cayman Brac Civil Servants took on a beautifying project at the Kirkconnell Community Care Centre, which included replanting the gardens and cleaning up the surrounding areas for the senior citizens that reside at the home.
The Cayman Brac sections represented included Human Resources, Customs Border Control (CBC), District Commissioner’s Office, Heritage House, Day Care, Public Works Department, Marketing, Facility Management, IT and Interns.
Before the day of the event, PWD employees prepared the area by trimming the plants cleaning the deck and hanging a sail that was donated by Mrs Delrose Crawford.
The Brac crew received monetary donations from employees which were used to purchase pots, tools etc. DART Farm donated the majority of the herbs and vegetable plants, and Tibbetts Enterprise provided the soil and chairs.
District Administration Human Resource Manager Delrose Crawford said, “Overall, it was a fantastic afternoon, and it felt good to give back to our community”.
CBC Assistant Director Raquel Matute explained the beautifying project meant so much to the group because, “The idea was to care for those who once cared for us, which is one of the highest honours.”
The Proud to be a Civil Servants cleanup effort, also scheduled on the last weekend of the month, had volunteers from the Portfolio of the Civil Service( POCS), Computer Services, General Registry, Department of Commerce and Investment, Ministry of Health, Light House School, Legistlative Assembly, Public Works Department (PWD) and family of Civil Servants. Two teams focused on two districts on Grand Cayman: Powell Smith Drive in West Bay and Bodden Town shoreline between the top of Manse Road and the cemetery. The West Bay crew collected enough trash to fill two small pick-up trucks and Bodden Town team collected 32 bags.
The coordinated trash collection effort involved the Department of Environmental Health, Public Works Department, Cayman Islands Civil Service Association and POCS, which included bags, gloves, water, fruit and the collection of garbage bags.
Ministry of Health COC Jennifer Ahearn, who participated in the Bodden Town area, thanked POCS for organizing the cleanup efforts. "It was a wonderful feeling to do our part by cleaning up the environment which gives us so much to be grateful for here in these Islands."