ABANDONED ON 10th AVENUE
Sep 4, 2017
A walk through a trio of cemeteries on 10th Avenue in Meridian reveals overgrown grass, covering up names, dates and details on some of the old gravestones. Weeds, brush and small trees stretch across the property, and one veteran's headstone is cracked down the middle, right through the words detailing his service. A passerby wandering from the narrow path may trip on an obscured gravestone, or find it impossible to reach a grave in the distance. Out in rural Lauderdale County, on Kewanee Road, the long forgotten Old Springs Cemetery hides behind the Lauderdale Cemetery.Beer bottles, discarded tires and used diapers mark the entrance to the cemetery. Grave markers are bent, with cracked glass and dirt covering the names of the dead.Full-grown trees stand silently while spider webs trap potential mourners. Through the thick trees, the carefully groomed green grass of the Lauderdale Cemetery is visible. Three old cemeteries line 10th Avenue: Elmwood, St. Luke and the Historical Tenth Avenue Masonic Cemetery. Lauderdale County maintains the Historical Tenth Avenue Cemetery, which was once maintained by the now disbanded Masonic Lodge 18. The two other cemeteries have no formal caretakers.According to the historical marker, these may be the biggest African-American cemeteries in Meridian. Similar to the Elmwood and St. Luke cemeteries, the Old Springs Cemetery has no formal caretaker and those familiar with the cemetery believe it's an African-American cemetery.Yet, on a recent sweltering August morning, Wayman Newell and Darrell White expertly navigated the hidden trails through the 10th Avenue cemeteries, pointing out specific points of interest, veterans graves they've marked with flags and areas they've tried to fix. +2 Whitney Downard / The Meridian StarA headstone stands alone in the middle of the overgrown vegetation, nearly covering another stone on the right, at St. Luke's Cemetery on 10th Avenue and 33rd Street. Both men said ...
Cushing Park to improve with more green space, rain gardens
Sep 4, 2017
NEWBURYPORT — Many parks in this community are in a "mature" state, with maintenance and beautification as the key action items for city crews.Cushing Park, though, is a work in progress.Perhaps because the two-acre park sits squarely within a residential area, parking has been a dominant feature there for many years.Yet, it offers a basketball court, large containers in which books and other items can be donated, and a park for children known as Ayers Playground, which was dedicated in 1977.Now, Parks Department managers are pursuing plans to improve the grounds while trying to accommodate everyone.The land was purchased in 183 and has served various public purposes over the decades, including the site of schools, firehouses and a Department of Public Works garage.It was named after Caleb Cushing, the first mayor of the city (1851). He is among Newburyport's most notable figures, having served as a congressman (1835-1843), ambassador to China (1845) and U.S. attorney general (1853-57), among other posts.The improvements at Cushing Park are funded by The Mayor Gayden W. Morrill Charitable Foundation, according to Parks Director Lise Reid.Parks officials say the property was once all green space with a fountain in the middle. In the 1950s, much of the land was turned into a parking lot to accommodate nearby industry. Reid said current improvements include installing a green buffer along the edge of the lot abutting neighbors on Congress Street The buffer will run the width of the lot from the playground end to Kent Street. The Kent Street entrance to the park will be open to foot traffic only, Reid said. It will include rain gardens intended to treat stormwater runoff from the parking lot before it flows into the storm drains, then into the river. The Parks Department has worked closely with River Valley Charter School students on this project, meeting regularly to design the space. "They calculated stormwater runoff for the parking lot, studied rain gardens, and designed the pla...
(The Daily News of Newburyport)