The volunteer effort that has developed in response to the groundskeeping needs at Greenleaf Cemetery is a textbook example of volunteerism at its best. Itís one thing to see a problem and complain. Itís something else to devote personal resources and time to solving it.

One example of the dedication these volunteers have to the task of returning Greenleaf Cemetery to an appearance thatís a fitting tribute to the individuals buried there and to their families ó many of them pioneers of this community ó was evident last Saturday. A scheduled workday was postponed when weather forecasts called for the possibility of heavy rain, but when those storms moved west and north, some three dozens workers showed up anyway.

They labored without benefit of the donated hot dogs and soft drinks that will be available tomorrow. The turnout should be even larger.

Greenleaf Cemetery managers have found themselves caught in a financial squeeze that has them operating on interest from an endowment which canít be ó and shouldnít be ó spent. But that revenue, even when combined with donations, hasnít been enough. Meanwhile, this yearís rainfall has prompted abundant growth and the few paid workers on staff havenít been able to keep up.

Workdays such as the one scheduled Saturday, in addition to the impromptu efforts of concerned citizens such as those who came out last weekend, are excellent short-term solutions. But they canít shoulder the burden in the long-term. Thatís why the group, which has adopted the name Friends and Relatives of Greenleaf, is exploring additional ways to bring the cemetery back to the showplace it needs to be and keep it that way.

As important as the time and labor being devoted by FROG members on the grounds of the cemetery are, perhaps an even greater service to the cemetery is the awareness they have raised in the community about its situation. Newsletters are being distributed. A Web site has been created. And people are expressing their interest, and acting on it.

Dozens plan to do just that again this weekend, starting around 8 a.m. Saturday.

Brownwood Bulletin