Letter to the Editor: Riverside Cemetery projects showcased

By Jeffrey P. Sisson, President, St. Charles Cemetery Association

If you are reading this column, the very first thing I ask you to do is mark Friday, May 26, on your calendar.

From 2 until 5:30 p.m. that afternoon, nearly 150 students and cemetery representatives will be showcasing 13 group projects benefiting one of Iowa’s most beautiful cemeteries, our Riverside.

Last fall students from Iowa Big North and the entire Charles City eighth grade middle school class, unbeknownst to each other; with two separate requests, generously offered to help transform Riverside into a cemetery of historical and natural opportunity.

Goals were set and strategies were developed.

In the seven months since, ordinary students have done extraordinary work documenting stories, researching early pioneers, exposing unrealized cemetery assets, filming, recording, fundraising for improvements and much more.

It is only fitting in May, which is officially Historic Preservation month, we share their success with our entire community.

Refreshments will be served, the weather will be nice and the cemetery will be well dressed for the Memorial Day weekend.

Finally, I would like you to consider one final request.

After visiting Riverside in the afternoon, attend the first Party in the Park that same evening in Central Park.

Share what you learned and tell a story or two. You’ll make some hard working students proud by doing so.