FLINT TWP. — Recognizable surnames like Ainsworth, Torrey, Dye and Judd are now easier to read on grave markers at the Bristol Road Cemetery thanks to clean-up efforts by two local scouts.
Al Grebic, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 215 based in Grand Blanc, made a presentation about his Eagle Scout Project to the township board at its Feb. 3 meeting.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in scouting.
“I went to the Bristol Road Cemetery near my house and cleaned off the headstones so you can see the names,’’ Grebic said. “Some were unreadable,”
His presentation included before, during and after photos of his work about two months ago which included removing lichen and dirt.
Grebic said he used dish soap and abrasion pads to give a light scrubbing to headstones in sections A, B and C of the cemetery.
After making the markers readable, Grebic compiled them into a data list and worked with a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) device to pinpoint the location of the graves.
The purpose is to create a list of every single name and GPS location in the cemetery.
“There is a (computer) program where you can type in the name of a person and it will give you a GPS location of where their ancestor is buried,” he said.
Grebic said his work on about 200 stones only scratched the surface. Another scout before him also cleaned up about 300 graves but there’s a lot more that need to be done. Grebic said he is encouraging other scouts to step in to continue the project.
Grebic said he also went though and cleaned up trash and disposed of it properly, A big hindrance was lack of water at the cemetery. Grebic had to truck it in himself in gallon jugs.
Supervisor Karyn Miller and other board members praised Grebic for his efforts.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,’’ MIller said about Grebic’s before and after pictures.
Trustee George Menoutes humorously pointed out that the township has another cemetery on Flushing Road that might need some attention should anyone be interested.
Grebic gave a flash drive and print-out of his GPScoordinated names to township clerk Kim Courts to make available to visitors looking for graves at the cemetery.
Records indicate there are about 2,649 graves in the cemetery which was established in the mid-1800s.