The Riverbank Cemetery is in line for a revitalization project that is about much more than aesthetics.
The Hantsport & Area Historical Society is teaming up with the Town of Hantsport to see a Memorial Gardens Project through to fruition.
At the heart of the project, largely led by a committee of volunteers, is a garden that will memorialize the 75-plus people buried in unmarked graves at Riverbank.
In addition to the economic hardships faced by many during such times as the Great Depression, there were other factors that led to the accumulation of unmarked graves in the cemetery dating back to 1835.
“Some people in their deep grief buried children and just in their grief didn’t get around to getting a cross, and then they couldn’t remember where they were buried,” said Brian Bishop, a volunteer involved in the project.
The names of those resting in unmarked graves will be etched in stones worked into memorial gardens Rose-Marie Stirrat designed.
“This isn’t just a memorial project, it’s also a Riverbank beautification project,” said Bishop.
Preliminary designs indicate that the memorial gardens will include perennial flowerbeds, ornamental hedges, shrubs and trees. Such elements as walkways, benches, birdbaths and a fountain may be added to the design if an expansion is warranted in the future.
The overall design of the memorial gardens will depend on the amount of money raised for the project.
The historical society is hoping a recently launched fundraising campaign will bring in at least $10,000 in donations to assist with the development of the gardens.
The goal is to break ground in time for the fall planting season. Donations will be placed in the Hantsport Historical Society’s Memorial Gardens Project Fund.
For more information, contact cemetery manager Doug Symonds at 798-7011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.