Teen sets out to beautify old cemetery

Teen helps to clean up cemetery
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A local teen took it upon himself to clean up a cemetery established in the 1800s.

Shawn Huffine, 17, is a troop guide with Boy Scout Troop 138 in Paragould.

His grandparents took him to Clark Cemetery, and he immediately knew he needed to do something about its appearance.

"I said yep, that's my Eagle Scout project, and that's what I wrote down in my plan book," Huffine said.

With just a few tools in hand, Huffine knew he had a tough task ahead.

"When I first saw it, it was grown up so bad I didn't know we were going to be able to do it with what equipment we had," he said.

Curtis Davenport was on a service call near the cemetery when he saw Huffine working on cleaning up the grounds.

"It's an abandoned cemetery in the middle of an industrial complex and hadn't been taken care of in years," Davenport said. "They're working with their hand tools and a lawn mower."

Huffine said the cemetery is about three acres, which he said is a lot of space to cover when it needs a lot of work. Davenport agreed with him, so he decided to help the teen.

"It's an overwhelming task for anybody, especially for a 17-year-old kid," Davenport said. "I just want to get the word out to try to get him some help and get some funds to possibly get him a chainsaw, maybe a weed eater."

Many businesses got word about the teen's initiative. Huffine said large companies are already showing him their support.

"Lowes donated some Roundup and weed eater string to us, and Orscheln's did the same," Huffine said.

Huffine would not mind if people came out to volunteer and help clean up the cemetery, saying each hand makes a difference.

"As long as we've got plenty of people out here to help, we can get this thing done," Huffine said.

Anyone interested in donating to Huffine's project or anyone interested in helping at the cemetery can contact Davenport at (870) 239-5803.

Huffine hopes to have the project completed in two months.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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