March 26, 2003 – The St. John Community Foundation on Wednesday kicked off an islandwide cleanup campaign funded to the tune of $79,400 by the Anti-litter and Beautification Commission.
"We're going to make sure St. John is clean and the public is educated about enforcement of the laws," Harry Daniel, foundation president, said.
The organization's director, Carole DeSenne, said the foundation has hired Powell Property Maintenance to clean up the island. Owner Dennis Powell and his crew were hard at work Wednesday in Cruz Bay Park getting rid of accumulated debris.
DeSenne said the crew will head to Coral Bay once a week to clean up areas there and will stop along the way to spruce up areas that need tending.
As part of this program, the Community Foundation will buy plants and trees to green up the island and will be responsible for maintaining existing plants and trees in public areas. It also will install a dozen trash cans around Cruz Bay.
Educating the public is key to the program's success, several Community Foundation members said.
The organization also must nudge the Public Works Department to enforce the territory's anti-litter laws. "There's been no litter tickets given in two years," DeSenne said.
She said Powell Property Maintenance personnel will document littering infractions with photographs. Then, she said, Public Works will be notified so its enforcement officers can issue tickets.
She said an auto repair shop owner was caught dumping used oil from a 55-gallon drum into a trash bin. When asked if he could at least leave the oil in the drum, she said, the man replied that he needed the drum for more oil.
The Community Foundation already has tackled the proliferation of posters that many businesses affix to trees and utility poles. As an option and an incentive, DeSenne said, the organization is working to identify spots to install public bulletin boards so the businesses that advertise with posters will have an outlet.
Cleaning up the island is normally a task that would be undertaken by the government. However, foundation member Lonnie Willis said that if the private sector through organizations such as the St. John Community Foundation chips in, more can be accomplished.

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