If the condition of this cemetery was improved the dynamics of our town could improve as well. I knew that projects like this would create a strong sense of community in the area and could improve the awareness of local historic sites.
The task of restoring the Apoquague Friends' Meeting Burial Ground originally began with a smaller group of individuals. We grew in size until a group of approximately forty people joined our cause.
For the first two meetings, the focus was on clearing the grounds of shrubbery, which grew during the time that the cemetery was neglected. The next step for us was to create awareness for our project. We were able to find many people eager to volunteer from Arlington High School. We first contacted and met with the Principal who was able to get us in contact with Arlington's Volunteer Club. We also went door-to-door to houses in the area, and contacted local businesses to see if they could help us. The businesses were very helpful, donating lots of refreshments and supplies for the volunteers. Even the highway department helped us out by offering to pick up our trash bags on site and mulch a rotten felled tree for recycling.
From planning to completion, the project took us about 6 months. Most of the time was spent preparing the project by finding volunteers, collecting tools for the job, and meeting with the Town Historian, Mr. Thom Usher, and the Town Supervisor, Mr. Matt Kennedy.
The first and hardest part about our project was spreading the word about our mission in order to find volunteers. After preparing our clean-up we had to take on the actual task of cleaning the cemetery up. Once we had finished, after 4 weekends of hard work, we had removed a rotten tree and about a hundred full size garbage bags filled with shrubbery. The rock wall surrounding the cemetery was reset, stone by stone.
- Viraj Kumar