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Davis organizes cleanup of historic cemetery

20101202davis3530On Feb. 22, Wake Forest volunteers and other members of the community worked together to clean Odd Fellows Cemetery at an event organized by David Davis, manager of landscaping services.

Odd Fellows was created in 1911 and served as the only burial site for black residents for years. Since the 1950s, the cemetery has fallen into disrepair.

Davis organized the service project through the North Carolina Branch of the Professional Grounds Management Society. He was inspired by the story of Deltra Bonner, whose aunt’s gravesite was recently rediscovered.

“I felt led to do something,” Davis said.

Volunteers sowed grass, planted 2,500 flower bulbs and cleared away litter. They also worked to remove a tree that fell last June.

James Clyburn, president of the Friends of Odd Fellows Inc., appreciated the volunteers’ efforts. “It’s very exciting to see people to come out and help clean up a cemetery that’s been in disarray for over 30 to 40 years,” he said.

Derrick Boone, associate dean for the Masters of the Arts in Management program at the University, brought his son to the event to teach him the value of service and history. Dedee Johnston, director of the Wake Forest Office of Sustainability, organized students to volunteer at the event. “This is a culturally significant site,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to bring some dignity back to the space.”

Read the full story in the Winston-Salem Journal.

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