Students spend summer internship restoring Brooklyn cemetery

Lauren Glassberg Image
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Students spend summer internship restoring Brooklyn cemetery
Lauren Glassberg speaks with the high school students who are interning this summer with Green-Wood Cemetery.

GRAVESEND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- New York City's oldest cemetery is in Gravesend, Brooklyn and dates back more than 400 years.

The tombstones and monuments hold a window into the past, and now young students are getting a history lesson and more as they work to restore part of the cemetery.

The New York City public high school students are interning with Green-Wood Cemetery.

They are learning about restoration and preservation, and applying what they have learned at the city's oldest surviving burial ground.

Aeden Schoen Thomas will be entering his senior year at Williamsburg High School for architecture and design.

He is aware that it is a pretty unusual way to spend the summer.

"I don't get freaked out but whenever I tell someone I'm working in a graveyard this summer they're like wait, what?", he said.

It is fairly different than his job last summer at an ice cream shop. But he likes the work. He's also paid $15 an hour and is learning about history.

The New York City Parks Department oversees the burial ground, and the work by the interns is vital for its preservation.

Without upkeep and maintenance, the cemetery could fall into ruin.


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