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Volunteers continue efforts to clean, preserve historic Lutheran Cemetery
BATON ROUGE - More than a dozen people gathered in the Lutheran Cemetery on Saturday to weed-eat, mow grass and rake leaves in an ongoing effort to preserve the grounds.
"There is no one dedicated to taking care of this cemetery except through volunteer work. Because it has such a rich history and shouldn't be neglected, it's an honor," said Sheila Blanchard with Trinity Lutheran Church.
Trinity Lutheran Church got involved with the effort ten years ago.
"There were two main caretakers that were trying to take care of all of this acreage by themselves. The weeds were over my head. You can see how it looks today. We've gotten so many youth groups involved," Blanchard said.
One of those caretakers was Joann Thomas' late husband.
"Picking up the baton and following his lead to keep it clean," Thomas said.
Since his death in 2019, Thomas and two of her siblings come weekly to keep the weeds down.
"When we first started, I was afraid to come in here. That was years and years ago. Since, we've been working with teams of schools and churches, stuff like that. It's been a good thing to see the work being done," Thomas said.
The people buried there may be strangers to these volunteers, but they say they're happy they can help in some way.
"I would love to see more people come and do this on a regular basis," Thomas said.
If you are interested in helping, there will be another big clean up day like Saturday's on April 15. Volunteers are also planning to do upkeep work at the Sweet Olive Cemetery in April.
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