Pleasant Hill Cemetery awarded planning and maintenance grant from Maine Forest Service
The Maine Forest Service has awarded a $2,822 Planning and Maintenance grant to the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association of Freedom. According to the board of directors of the association, the grant will be used to plant ten sugar maples to replace the existing stand forming the front border of the cemetery along Route 137. The grant is a matching grant; the cemetery association will be covering the remaining $2,822 cost through voluntary labor and contributions. Several families have already donated $200 each to establish a tree in memory of a loved one or friend.
The present stand of maples was set out on May 9, 1891 by Edmund Alan Fuller according to a written record held by his great-grandson Clayton Wentworth, a resident of Freedom. Mr. Fuller owned the land and established the original cemetery in 1890.
State Forester Morton Moesswilde of Jefferson evaluated the present stand and due to age and heavy pruning he recommended removing the existing trees in the next five years. The schedule will minimize the annual cost and visual impact.
The project is only possible because of the Forest Service grant, as the cemetery is a private corporation with limited funds. Each year the Maine Forest Service awards such grants under Project Canopy Assistance Program made available through the U.S.D.A. Urban Community Forestry Program through Dough Denico, director of the Maine Forest Service in Augusta.
The project has been supported by the board of selectmen, Freedom Historical Society and the Freedom Economic Development Committee.