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Cemetery cleanup is final event of the season for parks group

There will also be grim stories shared of famous Jackson residents of days of yore who are buried in the cemetery.
Cleaning up Mt. Evergreen Cemetery on Sunday, Oct. 31 will be the last volunteer event of the...
Cleaning up Mt. Evergreen Cemetery on Sunday, Oct. 31 will be the last volunteer event of the 2021 season for People for the Parks and Trails (PPT).(City of Jackson)
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 9:47 AM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - Jackson residents who are looking for spooky Halloween fun and community collaboration have a unique opportunity coming up.

Cleaning up Mt. Evergreen Cemetery on Sunday, Oct. 31 will be the last volunteer event of the 2021 season for People for the Parks and Trails (PPT).

PPT Coordinator and Jackson resident Aaron Dimick says organizers were looking for a final project for the 2021 season and knew this would be an exciting activity.

“Mt. Evergreen Cemetery is a beautiful historic cemetery that’s operated by the City of Jackson. This time of year, it’s in need of some cleaning up so it can look its best for visitors,” Dimick said. “This will be a great volunteer opportunity for residents and families who’d like to visit a macabre-looking cemetery on Halloween and help the community at the same time!”

Volunteers will help in the removal of fallen branches, leaves, and trash from gravesites. There will also be grim stories shared of famous Jackson residents of olden days who are buried in the cemetery.

Volunteers are to meet at the front cemetery entrance off Greenwood and Morrell streets at 1 p.m. The time commitment is expected to be about 1 hour.

PPT was founded in August 2021 by Dimick and Parks and Recreation Dept. Assistant Director Andrew Sargeant. Since then, the group has held five volunteer events, bringing out a total of 24 residents to remove graffiti, pick up litter, clean up gardens, and trim trees/brush in five City parks and two pedestrian trails.

Sargeant says PPT has been appreciated by the Parks and Recreation Department.

“Seeing residents come out to make a difference in the community and support parks has been inspiring to see,” Sargeant said. “Maintaining 27 public works with a limited staff can be difficult. This help from residents in doing light maintenance projects allows our staff to spend more time on larger-scale improvement projects.”

The outdoor volunteer season runs from April 1 to Nov. 1 every year, making the cemetery cleanup on Halloween the last planned event for 2021.

Dimick says there is the possibility of some indoor volunteer projects planned through the late fall, winter, and early spring while organizers work on setting up a formal nonprofit for PPT.

“Parks and trails are a big contributor to quality of life in Jackson. We invite everyone in the community to be involved in People for the Parks so we can make this a community mainstay,” Dimick said.

Volunteer projects are open to all Jackson residents. Those interested in volunteering can sign up by visiting CityOfJackson.org/PeopleForParks. The event can be found by visiting the People for the Parks and Trails Facebook page.

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