FREEPORT: In their fight to protect Grand Bahamas' natural beauty, the Keep Grand Bahama Clean (KGBC) Committee has been joined by a cadre of exceptional 'green citizens' throughout the residential and business communities, and civic organisations, who are doing their part to keep the environment clean. According to KGBC chairman Nakira Wilchcombe: "These individuals have shown deep concern regarding the state of the environment of the island and have made a point to do something about it by going above and beyond what is expected of one to do. They are therefore worthy of recognition." Some of the exceptional residential 'green citizens' are Don Mitchell, of Port of Call Drive, and Peno Capron, of Pioneers Way. Joined by other persons from the Port of Call Drive area, Mitchell began the fight against littering and indiscriminate dumping in his community by cleaning the beaches and roadsides every day, as well as installing garbage bins on the beach to encourage proper waste management. Upon meeting with the KGBC Committee, he expressed his interest in keeping a cleaner community and has stood by the motto of the KGBC initiative that "It's everyone's business and everyone's responsibility to keep Grand Bahama clean". "The Keep Port of Call Drive group was formed from their dedication and efforts and continues to prove that many hands make light work," noted Wilchcombe. Similarly, Peno Capron, a homeowner on Pioneers Way, stood out from the others along his street by taking pride in his own yard. When Pioneers Way, a main thoroughfare of the island, was bare of any landscaping, Capron decided to beautify his area by planting beautiful shrubs and trees around and in front of his home. By doing so, he has set an example for other residents alike to not only keep your area clean, but aesthetically pleasing as well. In October, in commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the KGBC initiative, approximately 21 civic organisations and corporate groups volunteered their time to conduct clean-ups in various locations around Grand Bahama. "The simultaneous clean-up was a true testament of the results of working together," said Wilchcombe. "These bodies are saluted and encouraged to continue doing their part." Specific exceptional business and corporative 'green citizens' include individuals like Tony Newbold, of Grand Bahama Nature Tours and Presto Recycling. As a person whose livelihood is based on the pristine conditions of Grand Bahama, Tony Newbold was deeply disturbed upon travelling his regular tour route and seeing debris spewed along the way. Newbold expressed that many visitors indicated that they loved the nature-based jeep and kayak tours but hated the constant view of garbage. "And why shouldn't they? As persons paying to see the beauty of the island, beauty is what should be provided," he stated. Spurred by these incidences, Newbold, along with his family and colleagues, have engaged in many area clean-ups and brought public awareness to the ills of indiscriminate dumping which occur in our communities, directly or indirectly, and are affecting our tourism dollars. He has dedicated his time, as well as his company's efforts, to continue to keep Grand Bahama clean and has willingly joined along with the KGBC committee. As a long standing member of the KGBC committee, Trevas Hall, of Presto Recycling, has always expressed his interest in keeping Grand Bahama clean which shines through in his business model. As of 2008, his company incorporated recycling bins throughout the schools as well as many different establishments to allow persons to become more environmentally friendly. Additionally, the hardworking staff of Presto Recycling have always volunteered their time and efforts to assist the KGBC committee in any way possible by spreading the message of being environmental stewards and participating in various community clean-ups. As the nature of their business of recycling has expanded, they have now relocated to a larger facility and continue to provide excellent environmentally-safe service to their customers. "These 'green citizens' are commended for their unwavering commitment," said Wilchcombe. "Furthermore, as we enter a new year, we encourage even more individuals to join our cause for the betterment of our communities and inevitably our island, by always remembering as echoed in our 5th Anniversary celebrations:"Keep Grand Bahama Clean. It begins with ME!"


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