Eagle project to leave cemetery shining

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 6, 2009

NATCHEZ — When Parker Cavin was looking for a community project to complete his Eagle Scout requirements, he simply had to walk out the front door of his house.

Cavin, 16, grew up living across the street from the Natchez City Cemetery and picking that as the place for his Eagle Scout project was only natural, he said.

“This cemetery is so important to Natchez’s history and an important tourist attraction,” Cavin said. “This project will take a maintenance burden off the cemetery.”

Email newsletter signup

Cavin has to not only complete the service project but also organize the effort and be a leader to his volunteer laborers. After completing the project, he will be awarded his Eagle Scout award. Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts.

Cavin, and several other of his Troop 168 friends spent Saturday cleaning monuments, clearing limbs and sprucing up the King’s Daughters burial plot in the cemetery.

Cavin, the son of Kenny and Renee Cavin, lives in the King’s Daughters house on Cemetery Road. The home was once used as a home for unwed mothers. The babies that died after being born in that house were buried in a special fenced in area in the cemetery.

Cavin and his helpers put a fresh coat of black paint on the fence and cleaned up the grounds around the plot.

The project also included clearing tree branches that had fallen on grave sites throughout the cemetery and cleaning the turning angel monument.

“There were some areas in the cemetery that needed some attention,” Cavin said. “So I came out here and with some help picked out some of the areas that needed the most attention.”

Cleaning the monuments, Cavin said, has been the most difficult part of his project. He said it took a lot of elbow grease to remove an algae-type substance from the monuments.

“Getting the monuments clean is the hardest part,” he said. “It takes a lot of scrubbing to get everything off.”

Cavin hoped to have the majority of the clean-up done on Saturday, but said the group could need one more day of labor to get everything done.

In October, Cavin will return to the cemetery to put the finishing touches on his project by planting several rose bushes in the King’s Daughters burial area.

Two rose bushes had to be removed because of disease, but Cavin picked baby love roses to replaces the bushes since the baby love roses are a hearty variety.

Renee Cavin said her son has spent a lot of time in the cemetery and has developed a respect for it and the history contained within it.

“He is a real history buff so has spent a good amount of time here over the years,” she said. “He would ride his bike over here and run over here. This is where he learned to drive.”

Renee said both she and her husband were extremely proud of their son’s accomplishments.

“He has shown a lot of determination not only with this project but with everything he has done through Boy Scouts,” Renee said.

Cavin is a junior at Trinity Episcopal Day School.