Volunteers unite for cemetery clean-up

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

MONTZ — On Saturday, June 18, members of the Montz community gathered to clean up the Montz Memorial Park Cemetery.

The idea to clean up the cemetery began when a community member of Montz visited the cemetery and noticed cracked graves and downed trees in the area.

“My uncle, Marshall Charles, came to the rest of the family and said we need to go back there and clean off our loved ones’ graves and the area,” Jessica Charles said.

From there, Jessica Charles posted photos of the cemetery on Facebook.

“We decided to post it on Facebook and let everybody else see what’s going on in case they wanted to come back here and help out and clean off the area so it can look like a cemetery,” Charles said.

Community members with loved ones buried in the cemetery reached out to the parish for any help they could get.

“I called the cemetery board and was told there was no help we can get,” Sharon Creecy-Green said.

The Charles family, along with Creecy-Green and Yolanda Augillard, set a time and date for members of the Montz community to get together in an effort to clean up the cemetery.

“The amount of shares and love and support that we received, I wasn’t expecting it. I really wasn’t expecting any of that at all,” Charles said.

Many members of Charles’ family are buried at the Montz Memorial Park Cemetery.

“I have my great grandmother, my great grandfather, my grandmother, they’re in the very back of the cemetery, and if you walk back there, you don’t know anybody. It’s heartbreaking,” Charles said.

At 10 a.m. when the cleanup was set to begin, community members in attendance were already weed-eating and moving downed tree branches.

“There’s those who say we’re fighting a losing battle, but we are united to make a change,” Creecy-Green said.

The next step for those involved in organizing the cleanup is making sure that the cemetery is maintained from now on.

“We’re talking about starting a board or something to try and keep it going and not just come out here and do all this work this one time and then next year be back where we started,” Charles said.