JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Andrew Benton's main project was to grade and gravel a road to the Confederate section of the Greenwood Cemetery. Benton and his fellow scouts are planting oak trees on either side. But with the help of plenty of family and friends, the group is also clearing brush, trimming shrubs, uprighting sagging headstones, and planting bulbs.
The brightening project is part of Benton's quest to become an eagle scout.
"It's a lot of planning, a lot of work, contacting different companies, getting all my scouts involved," he says.
Andrew's father, Robert, works as a grounds and facilities director, so he's right at home directing the volunteers. "It's a community project, so we're trying to get the whole community involved, volunteers from different aspects to come and volunteer," he says.
And willing hands are exactly what's needed. Greenwood Cemetery Association member Cecile Wardlaw says despite its historic status, the cemetery will feel the brunt of hard economic times. "With budget cuts, not being able to hire seasonal labor, it's more than they can handle," Wardlaw says.
And this update: the huge stump left over from the tree that fell in the cemetery last May and sat untouched for months has been removed. The graceful angel that was knocked over is now uprighted. A few larger monuments still have not been put back. Wardlaw says it's been too wet for the necessary heavy equipment to come in and do the job.
The Greenwood Cemetery is 23 acres in size, and is the final resting place of Eudora Welty, seven Mississippi Governors and six Confederate soldiers.
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