The following is a submission from Troop 60462 co-leader Carol Yacono-Harrison. If you would like to submit your troop story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our merry band of Girl Scouts has been volunteering at the historic Rapids Cemetery since July, 2017, starting as Brownies/Juniors, and now as Cadettes. We were invited to assist by Mr. John Curran, who is a member of our parish, St. Monica’s, and part of a group working to restore and protect this piece of Rochester history. Graves in this cemetery, in the middle of a residential area of Congress Ave. in the city of Rochester, are dated from 1842 to 1908.
The first year, after a tour of the grounds and a little history lesson, we helped clear the northeast corner of wild garlic and other weeds, and that area, free of graves, is now a meditation garden. That same year, we helped pick black raspberries in the “edible forest” in the northwest corner, also free of graves, to take to a soup kitchen in the city.
Each year since, we, along with other community groups, have returned to continue helping in any way possible. For our girls, that has meant picking an ever-growing amount of black raspberries for the soup kitchens. This year, we also helped clear dirt and debris from three newly discovered graves from the mid-1800s, and will be returning this Sunday, September 27th, to help lay mulch and prepare the grounds for the winter.
We see this as a “sustainable” project, a community service, and a part of our BREATHE journey and Trees badge work. We have contacted the city regarding planting a tree on the grounds. We heard back from Brian Liberti, Forestry Department, this past week! The city has a shipment of trees due to be delivered some time in April 2021, and he has agreed to reserve one for our girls to plant and help maintain. We’re hoping to do this as part of an Earth Day celebration!