Cemetery Cleanup Month declared

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 30, 2007

City officials have declared the month of May as Cemetery CleanUp Month in recognition of Memorial Day and hope the community willstep forward to assist efforts citywide to beautify the restingplaces of loved ones.

“Karen Sullivan came to me with the idea and it seemed likesomething we should do. We need the public to be aware we needhelp,” said Alderman-at-large Les Bumgarner, chairman of the city’scemetery committee.

Sullivan, president of the Lincoln County Master Gardeners,agreed.

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“The city does a good job of maintaining our cemeteries. I wantto make that crystal clear,” she said. “But we need to get thecommunity involved for them to be really beautiful.”

City crews can provide the basic needs of cemeteries, such asmowing the grass and picking up litter, but the community must stepforward to provide “the extra touches that make the cemetery look alot better,” Bumgarner said.

“We’re going to try to get different clubs and organizationsthat may be interested in cemeteries to get out and help -churches, too,” he said.

Bumgarner said Lincoln County Master Gardeners work hard tobeautify the city’s six cemeteries, but one organization ofvolunteers can only do so much.

“The Master Gardneners have done an untold amount of work outthere planting and replanting,” he said.

Sullivan said the volunteers visit the Rose Hill, Hillcrest,Carver Heights, Catholic, Hoskins and Jewish cemeteries regularly,but there is always more to be done.

“We do it on an ongoing basis. We’re down there almost weekly,”Sullivan said.

Bumgarner said he is trying to see if interest exists forcommunity day sessions at each cemetery. Regardless, he urgedresidents to visit cemeteries and family plots to “spruce themup.”

Some things that can be done at no to low cost are to trim thegrass and shrubbery, discard faded flowers, pick up litter, sticksand other debris and rake or straighten areas, he said.

“This is kind of a Spring cleaning for our cemeteries,”Bumgarner said.

The alderman said he hopes to make Cemetery Clean Up Month anannual event, but the response will determine whether more attemptsare made.

For more information, contact Bumgarner at (601) 833-7731 or themayor’s office.