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Highlands Students Dig Into the Boulder Cemetery


A group of Civil Engineering Technology students from Highlands College are assisting the City of Boulder to determine how much usable space there is left in the city’s cemetery. The City of Boulder Cemetery, established in 1889, is running out of space and understanding exactly how much space is available would be a great help to the city. Coming to Boulder’s aid are Civil Engineering Technology students, Ray Woods, Jason Schutz, Aaron Peters, and Bill Rees.

"This is exciting but very respectful work we are doing here," said student, Ray Woods, who is also a Boulder resident. "This project will also benefit our Heritage Center. Over the years, some of the headstones have been lost in the oldest plots in the cemetery. One of the hopes is that by conducting an orderly inventory of existing conditions, the Heritage Center will be able to connect lost names to these resting places."

The students will survey the cemetery for the location of existing driveways, fences and headstones to determine how much usable space there is for future burial plots. They will prepare a drawing using AutoCAD software, design a new plot layout for the available space, and then stake these locations in the ground for the city.

"I am very proud of our students and the public service they are providing to the citizens of Boulder," said Eric Martin, Civil Engineering Technology Instructor at Highlands College. "This will not only provide them with real-world, hands-on experience, it will help instill in them the qualities good citizenship and civic engagement."

The students will tie the location of the cemetery to the Public Land Survey System so it can be related to adjoining properties. They are also securing guidance from the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder’s Office on the legal issues involving the Montana Subdivision and Platting Act especially as it relates to the replatting of cemeteries."