The Washington County Conservation Board and Washington County Historical Society are extending their partnership of maintaining the upkeep of historical grounds.

Washington County Historical Society board member Deborah Johnson Wagner and president Ferd Marie approached the conservation board at their recent meeting about taking over mowing services at the Red Brick School. Wagner explained that Jim Woods used to mow the grounds for free until health issues caused him to stop, and since then the historical society has hired someone to do it. Wagner said because the school is a historic site they need to do their best in maintaining it, “Now in recent years people coming there to visit has dwindled down. We have new members on the board that have a lot of enthusiasm, spark of energy, and we’re trying to write grants now to do a little bit of work that needs to be done on the inside, and also to utilize that energy to go ahead and start working on advertisements drawing children’s groups [and] other groups to use the building to make it a really viable thing which it should be. It’s always been an asset to the community and to the county, and we want it to continue to be that way.”

Wagner added it’s unlikely to receive grants for lawncare, and the society board can’t afford the cost. Conservation board member Craig Capps said providing mowing services could show the county they aren’t just caring for themselves but they want to help other organizations. Conservation staff mentioned that the Red Brick School is near other areas they mow every two weeks, and the conservation staff already mows at the Walnut School which is property of the historical society. The conservation board approved to provide free mowing services, as Conservation Executive Director Steve Anderson said it’s not an issue of funds, as much as having enough staff on hand.