Ten students in the graduate-level Community in Place class met recently with the Friends of Brooklyn Cemetery who have been working to clean up and preserve Brooklyn Cemetery off Alps Road beside Clarke Middle School.
They asked the residents — members of a group called Friends of the Brooklyn Cemetery — how they wanted to see the cemetery used in the future, what aspects they want to preserve and what makes the place so special.
The residents told the students about the history of Brooklyn Cemetery, which holds graves that date back to the 1880s, and described how the 10-acre cemetery might look one day.
The students have three weeks before the end of the semester to translate those ideas into the beginnings of a plan for the cemetery's future.
“It won't be as detailed as a preservation plan but hopefully it will show a vision,” said UGA professor Katherine Melcher.
She hopes at least a couple of the students will continue working on the plans over the summer and will bring future classes back to help, Melcher said.
Established in the 1980s, Brooklyn Cemetery holds more than 1,000 graves, many of them the final resting places of janitors, maids and other working class people, Friends group member Linda Davis said. Some of the people there were born into slavery.