On Centre: Around Bellefonte | Borough seeking volunteers to help mow grass at Union Cemetery

Unlike a parent, Bellefonte borough officials can’t order anyone to mow the lawn.

They’re asking for help.

The borough has put out a call for volunteers to help cut the grass at Union Cemetery, more than 20 acres in the heart of the borough.

“We’ve been using some volunteers over the years, and the pool of volunteers has been dwindling,” borough Manager Ralph Stewart said, noting age is the main culprit.

The request is being made on behalf of the Bellefonte Cemetery Association, Union Cemetery’s official caretaker.

Seven or eight years ago, Stewart said, the borough began helping out with the mowing when the association ran into financial hardship, providing volunteers or a part-time borough employee to supervise Centre County Correctional Facility inmates.

Prior to that, he said, the association paid a service for the job.

“Their funds started to dwindle, and they didn’t have the resources to continue doing that,” Stewart said.

Nowadays, in addition to the association’s own mowers, volunteers or inmates try to mow and trim around headstones once a week. But because of the shortfall of volunteers, that doesn’t always happen.

So if you’re 18 or older and own a riding mower, Bellefonte wants to hear from you. Call 355-1501, and borough officials will relay the offer to Paul Badger and Jim Baldwin, two association board members.

Stewart said the borough needs assistance with the whole cemetery, but especially a section of about 3 to 4 acres at the corner of Howard and Wilson streets.

“It really makes a difference,” he said of volunteer help. “It makes it doable, and it helps us out tremendously.”

Help wanted

The Bellefonte Youth Center needs strong arms, legs and backs.

Because of renovations to the Temple Court Building on Allegheny Street, the center is looking for a new location in Bellefonte to provide children’s activities. But it has to get out of the building by July 1.

Consequently, it could use a few volunteer movers.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to whenever on Sunday, you can help the center pack and transfer its belongings to storage, to be kept until it can set up shop again.

Call the Centre County Youth Service Bureau at 237-5731 for more information, or just show up to pitch in.