The Meadow Creek Community Cemetery organization would like to thank the youth group from St. Dennis High School for
all there help at the cemetery on June 24, 2008. We would also like to thank the National Park Service for there effort
in seeing that the old abandon cemeteries in the New River Gorge are getting the long needed attention they deserve.
A special thanks to those who volunteer in the Park.
(The following was written by the youth leader for the group that came to the Meadow Creek Cemetery)
Every summer the St. Dennis High School Youth Group from Lockport, Il. ventures out on a seven to ten day trip to wonderful
places in our country. Our focus is to visit and to experience a national park and its environs. An integral part of each
trip is a day or two devoted to service in that park. In our first service year, 2003, we drove 30 kids in 3 vans to the Southwest
where we restored worn areas of high use in Zion National Park in Utah. In 2004, our group of 40 took Amtrak to Glacier National
Park where you could find us working in the nursery, planting thimbleberry bushes, and weeding unwanted seedlings. In 2005,
48 of us traveled to Maine where we cut and cleared heavy brush and trees in and around lookout points in Acadia National
Park. In 2006, our group of 54 chartered a bus to Grand Lake, Colorado and performed service work for Rocky Mountain National
Park, where the Ponderosa Pine beetle has devastated large groves of trees. The NPS cuts down and burns them in huge piles
each winter; it was our job to clear out and augment the burn rings in an attempt to rejuvenate the soil. In 2007 our group
of 72 visited San Francisco and Yosemite National Park where we eradicated non-indigenous plants in meadows in Yosemite Valley
that have overwhelmed the native plants. In 2008, our group of 78 was lucky enough to have a coordinated project planned by
Mark Bollinger where we split into 9 smaller groups and helped clean dump sites, haul out debris, and worked at neglected
cemeteries within the New River Gorge National River. One such team, led by Gene Jones, enjoyed weedwacking, mowing, hauling
branches and logs, and repositioning sunken or toppled gravestones at the beautiful and serene Meadow Creek Cemetery.
The St. Dennis High School Youth Group’s service projects enables impressionable and eager teenagers to develop a
real sense of stewardship for their country and its lands. We are true believers in that once kids and young adults contribute
to our national parks in this capacity, they feel bonded to those places and their attitudes toward their national parks and
toward wilderness, in general, are impacted profoundly and permanently, for the better. We would like to thank those who offered
us this opportunity and who share in our vision.