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Seeking volunteers for cemetery cleanup

Two days are set aside this coming week for headstone preservation in Maple Ridge
Even during COVID, teams of community volunteers donated their time to help clean and preserve the headstones at Maple Ridge Cemetery. That effort is getting underway again next week, and volunteers are needed. (Maple Ridge Museum & Archives/Special to The News)

Two days have been set aside for a visit to the local graveyard, where a team of volunteers are expected to administer a little TLC.

Every summer, the Maple Ridge Historical Society endeavours to perform a cleanup of some of the older headstones at Maple Ridge Cemetery. And that project is back again this coming week, explained museum director Shea Henry.

“We are still looking for volunteers,” she said, explaining a bit of the reasoning behind the headstone preservation project.

“It aims to pay extra attention to those headstones and grave markers at the Maple Ridge Cemetery that no longer have local descendants to take care of them,” she said, noting it’s an initiative undertaken every year – even through the pandemic.

“It really gives volunteers a chance to connect directly with local history in a unique way,” she elaborated.

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There’s no training required.

Volunteers are simply encouraged to dress for the weather – including rain gear if needed, hats, sunscreen, drinking water, and bug spray.

This year’s cleaning dates are set for Thursday, July 14, from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to noon. People can sign up for one or both.

Volunteers are asked to sign up ahead on the museum’s website, under events, or by calling the museum at 604-463-5311.

“The only cleaning supplies needed are a bucket for water and a soft bristled brush, if volunteers have these they are encouraged to bring them along,” said Henry.

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