Watkins St. is worthy of a community effort

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

While local governments debate state code, an opportunity for a great community service project is on the table for the taking.

Maintenance of the Watkins Street Cemetery historic site has been an issue for several years.

A group of women started a non-profit group to manage the overgrown, abandoned gravestones of black Natchezians, including those killed in the Rhythm Night Club fire. But the Worthy Women of Watkins Street Cemetery haven’t been able to raise enough funds to ensure even basic grass cutting.

Without money from the city or county, the cemetery budget is dwindling.

But the women, and other community members willing to pitch in and offer a needed helping hand, can look no further than the Natchez City Cemetery Association and the Friends of the Cemetery for an example of what a good idea can do.

The city cemetery’s annual Angels on the Bluff fundraiser is its most successful money drive. Though the undertaking is no easy task, its success is evident.

A creative Eagle Scout-to-be, church group or a civic club could brainstorm fundraising ideas for Watkins Street. Someone simply has to try.

The students of Youth Build could likely provide free labor to get a project off the ground.

City and county leaders seem to be hunting for laws that say they cannot help. That’s fine, in this community help is always just around the corner.

Let’s just make that corner the one at Watkins Street this time.