Cemetery emerges from wilderness thanks to community effort - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Cemetery emerges from wilderness thanks to community effort

Prairie Cemetery after about six months of work. (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office) Prairie Cemetery after about six months of work. (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office)
Before the cemetery was cleaned up in January. (Source: KAIT) Before the cemetery was cleaned up in January. (Source: KAIT)
(Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office)
CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -

Crews of volunteers took dilapidated cemetery and brought it back to a more respectable version of itself. The process started at the beginning of the year and will be celebrated this fall.

The Craighead County Sheriff's Office shared photos of the progress made at the Prairie Cemetery on Thursday.

Region 8 News first told you about the efforts of Brenda Hutcheson, a woman from Lake City, and her mission to clean up the site in January.

Since then volunteers and county officials have cleared the land of weeds and trees.

Judge Ed Hill and the Craighead County Road Department hauled away brush and trees. The dirt was also leveled.

Jonesboro residents Ron and Wilman Freeman, who have family buried there, paid to have ground penetrating radar scans performed on the property.

The sheriff's office stated 19 graves were located.

In addition, Harold Hutcheson of Paragould created the new Prairie Cemetery sign that adorns the grounds. Boy Scouts, Riverside, and A-State students also helped along the way.

Bell's Sod Farm in Mississippi County donated sod. Jim Moore, a land owner near the site, relinquished some of his own land to accommodate the cemetery. The Brannon Qualls Farm family was also praised for their work.

The sheriff's office stated it was "truly a team effort" and they said they were proud to help by sprigging sod on the property.

A dedication ceremony is expected to be held on Oct. 1.

If you would like to help with this effort, contact Brenda Hutcheson by email at dandbhutcheson@yahoo.com.

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