Masonic Cemetery clean-up a scratchy success

WALSENBURG— Fighting blustery winds, scratchy tumbleweeds, thorny bushes and recalcitrant chainsaws, a hearty group of volunteers met Saturday morning to “get ‘er done.” Paulette Stuart and Suellen Levy worked many months on organizing the Masonic Cemetery cleanup. If all goes well, the cleanup may become a yearly or perhaps semiannual event. Volunteers from age 7 to 70 manned rakes, hedge clippers and saws to tidy up Walsenburg’s historic cemetery. Walsenburg’s newly formed Boy Scout Troop 295 took on one of the most overgrown areas and managed to uncover tombstones which had lain totally hidden by plant overgrowth for half a century. The Walsenburg High School Class of 1964 was also well represented with members coming from around the state to participate. Sheriff Bruce Newman, Andy Faris, and his cousin Joe Barttels concentrated on cleaning up around the gate and many volunteers drove trucks around the area to remove

the many branches and trash bags of debris stacked up by the workers. Andy and Joe stayed to the end, and gathered up the piles and piles of black trash bags and tree limbs to the collection point for the city. Almost 40 people all told, participated, with the out of towners coming in from Parker, Castle Rock, Denver, Colorado Springs, Canon City and Pueblo. The City of Walsenburg is donating time and a truck to haul the trash bags to the transfer station and the county donated the brush chipper to turn the branches and limbs into usable mulch. The cemetery looks better now than it has in many years. Walsenburg is fortunate to have so many people willing to give up a Saturday to make Walsenburg a better place. Thanks! Folks can help clean up anytime they wish, or just take a walk through the cemetery and look at the beautiful, special stones from long ago. It is a wonderful way to honor those who have gone before us.