Kay Morrow, The Murfreesboro Post, November 1, 2007
The Heritage Partnership of Rutherford County partnered with Boy Scout Troop 374 in the Blackman community to clean up a local overgrown cemetery.
One of the county’s well known archeologists, Dan Allen, directed the boys to ensure the cemetery and headstones were properly taken care of during the clean up. As the scouts, adult leaders, and members of HPRC cleaned the neglected cemetery with clippers and saws, residents stopped by to see what was happening and offered their thanks.
“Hearing from the neighbors makes you feel good,” said John Black, Scoutmaster for Troop 374, “This is such a great lesson for the boys.”
Denise Carlton of HPRC had researched the cemetery deed and educated the boys on some history of the people buried in the cemetery.
“This project is such a positive thing to do for our community and very educational for our younger generation,” said Rob Sanders, chair-elect of HPRC. The organization is hoping to identify other neglected cemeteries in Rutherford County to create an ongoing cemetery clean up program. By identifying and cleaning overgrown cemeteries, HPRC may also be able to find potential Eagle projects for the scouts, such as repairing or building new fences. As a result of this partnership, HPRC has offered to help the scouts with their American Heritage merit badge. Part of the requirement to earn the merit badge is to learn about the National Register of Historic Places.
Select members of the HPRC board, such as MTSU professor Dr. Lorne McWatters, will teach the boys what the National Register is and why it is important to the community and the nation.
If you know of a neglected cemetery in need of help, or if you are involved in Scouting or another volunteer organization and would like to be involved in the cemetery clean up program, please contact HPRC at [email protected].