Guam Green Growth celebrates Conservation Corps graduates

Members of the Guam Green Growth Conservation Corps capped off their five months of full-time hands-on training through a graduation ceremony held on Wednesday, August 18, 2022, at the Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex (Adelup) in Hagåtña.  

The ceremony recognized its second batch of conservation corps graduates since the members were recruited in March 2022.  

The graduates include Jenelle Aguilar, Rejean Benavente, Johnny Borja, Jacob Concepcion, Remilou Hannigan, Dulce Imbo, Wade Kitalong, Ryan Perez, Christopher Quichocho, Hila’an San Nicolas, and Tre Starr. 

Over the course of the last five months, the cohort gained experience through various aspects of sustainability such as agriculture and aquaculture, island beautification, invasive species removal, reforestation, circular economy and recycling, and renewable energy.  

“What you’ve done is tremendous,” said UOG President Thomas W. Krise as he addressed the graduates. “You’ve inspired other people just by your efforts. In terms of the cleanups, when you see somebody on the road and improving the road, it deters you from throwing something away as you drive by. You’re helping to change the feeling of how people treat the environment. You’ve done tremendous work and I’m very proud of you.”  

During the graduation, Austin Shelton, director of the Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant program, highlighted the cohort’s contributions to the community. 

“You have this training. You have this awareness and skills that you’ve built over these past five months that you can take into any career that you go into. That’s a very powerful force and you’re a part of this movement and we’re very proud to have you as part of G3. We’d love to continue to support you in any way that you may need in the future,” said Shelton.  

From March 14 to August 18, the G3 Conservation Corps:  

  • Collected and recycled 55,618 aluminum cans;  
  • Planted 1,705 food crops and pruned 2,986 trees;  
  • Built 81 feet of erosion control devices;  
  • Removed 321 white goods and bulky waste;  
  • Removed 19 brown tree snakes, 40 invasive frogs, and 27 gallons of invasive algae;  
  • Completed 15 roadside cleanups and 5 beach cleanups;  
  • Participated in 2 painting projects.  

During the ceremony, Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio commended the cohort for their service to the island.  

“The five months you were able to embark and work together collectively not only has benefited yourself, but it has also benefited the people of Guam. For that, I want to thank all of you for your individual role. I hope you’ll be able to maintain that advocacy through your work,” said Tenorio.  

Dulce Imbo, a Conservation Corps graduate, was elected as the cohort’s representative to celebrate their completion of the program.  

“Sustainability starts within our own lives and habits by knowing and understanding our own story and truth,” said Imbo. “The past five months has allowed us to deepen our own understanding and reflect on who we are as individuals and use our own healing and as a way to propel ourselves in the work that we do.”  

About Guam Green Growth  

Guam Green Growth (G3) is the island’s most comprehensive public-private partnership created to achieve a sustainable future. Aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, G3 cultivates an ecosystem for transformative action to achieve our island’s sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future. UOG facilitates the island-wide initiative in cooperation with the  Office of the Governor of Guam and the 99 members of the G3 Working Group representing all sectors of our society.     

G3 first launched the Conservation Corps in partnership with UOG Center for Island Sustainability and UOG Global Learning and Engagement department to establish a foundation for workforce development to support an emerging green economy in June 2021.  

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