Eighth grade students from Meadowview Middle School performed community service at Woodlawn Cemetery Nov. 4.
The students transplanted 70 trees from the cemetery nursery to the cemetery; moved a dirt pile; helped with fall flower cleanup and raking; and took photos of headstones for record keeping. The headstone photos will be shared with the Woodlawn Cemetery Board and become a permanent part of the historical records.
Jarrod Roll of The Monroe County Local History Room and Museum presented to the 160 students about the cemetery’s origins as well as the symbolism found on monuments and headstones. During future visits, Roll will teach students about historically significant people buried at Woodlawn Cemetery and appropriate methods for cleaning headstones.
The project was recommended by cemetery board member Melanie Hunter who also teaches at Meadowview Middle School. “A majority of our students pass by the cemetery on a daily basis and board members agreed that having students involved in cleanup and care would allow them to develop a sense of ownership, understanding and pride about the space.”
“We are excited to teach our students about this location, how to care for it, and issues revolving around respectful behavior in a cemetery,” teacher Vince Torres said. “Our future plans are for this project to become a yearly event in the spring, which will allow students to help clean-up and prepare the cemetery for visitors before the Memorial Day holiday.”