NEWS AND TRIBUNE
NEW ALBANY —
Stephen Harper knew his parish, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Albany, had several projects that needed attention and only had a few volunteers to do the work. So he decided to ask his priest — Rev. Harry Tully — what could he do to help out as he prepared for his Eagle Scout project.
He was directed to the Rachel area of St. Mary’s Cemetery, which is located along Charlestown Road in New Albany. The area is reserved as a memorial for children lost from abortion, miscarriage or stillborn.
The Knights of Columbus had placed a monument in the area years ago but the landscape needed some attention.
That is before Harper and a few of his friends from Holy Family Troop 36 stepped in to revamp the Rachel area.
It took Harper two months to plan the project, secure donations and complete the work.
“It feels pretty good. Now when I drive past it and see it from the road it will be pretty satisfying,” said Harper, 18, a senior at Providence High School.
The crew removed the four existing evergreens and re-planted them on the property, removed the sod and planted 27 plants. Harper also placed a concrete bench in the area.
He solicited donations from local businesses for all of his supplies and equipment. He also received a donation from the Knights of Columbus.
“They [fellow scouts] helped me out, but the planning was all mine,” said Harper who is now an Eagle Scout following the completion of the Rachel area. “It was a little hard getting donations. Some businesses wanted to help but they just couldn’t.”