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Joint effort provides paving at Greenwood Cemetery

By Kay S. Pedrotti The character of a city can be seen in the way it takes care of its cemeteries, according to those who visit cemeteries whenever they are traveling. ’You can just tell if the community cares about how it looks,’ said Jimmy Matthews, Aldora mayor who has been part of the joint efforts to refurbish Greenwood Cemetery. Matthews and Aldora council members Bruce Akins and Joe Penley have worked together with Barnesville and the Azalea Garden Club to give a new look to the very old cemetery. The latest step in the project has been paving 14,000 linear feet ‘“ about 2.65 miles, Barnesville city manager Kenny Roberts said. Hedy Cauthen, chair of the cemetery committee for the Azaleas, said the next step will be enhancing the cemetery entrance. Roberts noted that phase will likely include a wider radius of brick pavers, new side posts and wrought iron arch and relocation of some utilities to provide better and more modern security lighting. Some work already has been done by volunteers to ‘raise the canopy’ by trimming the existing trees to discourage loiterers; Barnesville police are stepping up patrols in the area. The Lamar County road department worked with Norfolk Southern Railroad to clean up about 100 dump truck loads of surplus railroad properties near the entrance to Greenwood ‘“ the railroad ties and asphalt were used by the county for erosion control. None went into the landfill. ’We’re glad to have all the help we can get, especially from people who have suggestions for things we may not have considered,’ Roberts said. ‘We’re proud of the Azalea Garden Club for its work at the cemetery and especially grateful for the way it decorates the downtown area during the holidays.’ Cauthen said, ‘The club’s next big project will be to start landscaping in the spring. We’re accepting donations from anyone who would like to memorialize family members at Greenwood or just wants to be a part of making the cemetery look as beautiful as possible.’ The Azaleas began last year with a cleanup effort centered around the graves of Gideon Barnes, the city’s founder, and his second wife Huldah. Other members of the Azaleas’ cemetery committee include club president Linda Akins, Jean Dukes, Audrey Smith, Karen Cox, Laura Geiger, Paulette Butler and Anne Claxton. Anyone wishing to make a donation may call 770-358-7240 or 770-358-1771. A plan is forming for the club to assist the city with its perpetual care of the cemetery, Cauthen noted. ’This is going to be a wonderful example of what can be done when we all work together,’ Matthews concluded, ‘and nobody cares who gets the credit.’

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