St. Mary’s Cemetery has been the subject of several restoration projects in recent years. The most recent project, funded by the Rotary Club of Pflugerville, involves replacing markers that have been damaged or removed and placing markers on graves where there previously were none.
On Feb. 28, the Rotary Club began searching the cemetery for unmarked graves using a ground-penetrating radar, a type of machine that detects empty spaces beneath the earth.
Rotary Club President Jeff Coleman said many of the cemetery’s original markers were made of materials that did not last, leaving graves with markers that have deteriorated or vanished entirely after years without maintenance.
On Mar. 5, volunteers and members of the Rotary Club will gather at the cemetery to place temporary marble markers at any graves without markers. From there, the Rotary Club will work on acquiring more permanent granite markers to take their place.
“This is one of the most important things that we as a city can try to rectify and do and make a difference on,” Council Member Rudy Metayer said.
Although the Rotary Club is leading this particular project, restoration efforts have historically been a collaborative effort among several local groups, including nonprofit Black Pflugerville and the city itself.
Black Pflugerville President Alicia Jackson said she has her eye on several more projects in the future, from repairing the cemetery’s fences to constructing a butterfly garden.
“It’s been a long road for four or five years, and we’re happy to see this happening,” Jackson said. “This is just one step in that long process of revitalization and beautification and remembrance.”