Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Maplewood Cemetery Fence Repairs – August 9, 2021
We encourage our students to get involved and give back to their community. When sections of the Maplewood Cemetery fence, constructed between 1880 and 1900, which borders our school grounds, had to be repaired or replaced, our students offered to lend a helping hand.
At the end of the school year and over the summer, Noelle (Ellie) McDonald of Grafton and Jeffrey Powers of Upton, seniors in our Construction Technology program, volunteered to assist with the repairs of our neighbor’s picket fence. They met and worked alongside Edward W. Phillips, Chairman of the Upton Cemetery Commission, and a volunteer at Maplewood Cemetery, with Ellie contributing close to 30 hours including several days after the school year ended. While donating their time and skills, Mr. Philips shared his knowledge of the cemetery and the Upton region through a brief history lesson about how the Knowlton family established the cemetery.
“Ellie and Jeffrey are a great help,” said Mr. Phillips. “A project of this magnitude with almost 5,000 pickets and 2,200 feet of fence that involves scraping and painting both sides doubles the workload.”
Both students enjoy working with their hands and welcomed the opportunity to assist. Ellie came to BVT with thoughts of being in Engineering, and Jeffrey planned to pursue Information Technology. However, through Freshman Exploratory, both students realized that Construction Technology suited them. Seeing the results of their work, they agreed that it was a rewarding project.
As the saying goes, many hands make light work, and that was true of this project. Jenna Kenary, a senior from Millbury in Painting & Design Technology, led the volunteerism effort in her shop. In addition to Ellie and Jeffrey, some of our Painting & Design and Construction Technology juniors worked together scraping sections of fence in addition to constructing 160 pickets from new cedar stock and priming and painting them.
The next time you drive down Maple Avenue, be sure to slow down and check out Maplewood Cemetery’s beautiful white picket fence. Again, our students have left their mark on our community.