FARMINGTON — Eight forestry students at Foster Career and Technical Education Center on Friday began cleaning the Red Schoolhouse Cemetery, where Revolutionary War soldiers are buried, forestry and agricultural instructor Rodney Spiller said.

Last fall, Wal-Mart employees proposed cleaning the cemetery and the community adopted the project. Store manager Greg Patterson said he got a call from the students saying they would work at the graveyard Friday.

Tech school student Austin Koehling expressed interest in cleaning the site and fellow students joined in, Spiller said. The students cut brush, trimmed trees and cut down some poplars.

About 50 Wal-Mart employees were planning to work at the cemetery Saturday and again next weekend. 

The store’s Volunteerism Always Pays program gives $250 in the name of each employee who volunteers for a community project. The money will go to the American Legion to help pay for the cemetery work, Patterson said.

Representatives from Hammond Lumber, Wiles Remembrance Centers and E.L. Vining & Son, and Charlie Bennett from the American Legion, Town Manager Richard Davis, Glenn Kapiloff, Spiller and Patterson met Thursday at the cemetery to discuss plans.

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Pro Service owner Leon Heckbert offered to purchase a new flagpole.

Last week, the vocational students also worked at the Whittier Road riverbank erosion site, and they work at Hippach Field this year.

The students are preparing for the annual Woodsmen’s Day competition May 21 and 22 in Dixfield.

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