Grove City Cemetery receives grant from Union Pacific

Nathan Anderson, Public Affairs Director for Union Pacific Railroad, presented Blackfoot Mayor Paul Loomis with a grant for the beautification of the new entrance to the Grove City Cemetery.Grove City Cemetery received a new entrance sign from the grant provided by the Union Pacific Foundation Board. Remaining funds will be used towards beautifying the two-thirds acre lot located along the railroad tracks.
Meg Matsuura
Staff Writer

On Thursday morning, The City of Blackfoot was awarded a $10,000 grant by Union Pacific Foundation Board for the beautification of the new south entrance to the Grove City Cemetery.
A small public group gathered at the project site and observed as senior administrators from Union Pacific presented Blackfoot city officials with the grant.
"We appreciate all that Union Pacific has done and is continuing to do for Blackfoot," said Mayor Paul Loomis.
Nathan Anderson, the Public Affairs Director for Union Pacific, spoke about the company's motto of "Building America." Along with its goal to run a safe and efficient railroad, Union Pacific makes it a priority to support the communities they serve.
"Blackfoot is a beautiful city," said Anderson. "We are pleased with the opportunity to help enhance the beauty of this community and its cemetery."
The grant will cover the cost of the new entrance sign and the beautification of the land located between the railroad tracks and the road leading up to the cemetery. Prior to the grant, the land was nothing more than a lot full of weeds and gravel. Now it is undergoing the process of becoming a beautiful landscaped area for many people to enjoy. The project started in May and the newly planted grass is just starting to peak over the surface of the soil.
"It's taken years to turn this piece of land into something beautiful," said Earl Roberts, a cemetery worker.
Scott Hays, the Parks and Recreation Director of Blackfoot, was heavily involved with the landscaping of the new entrance.
"When Arbor Day comes around in April, we plan on planting trees alongside the road leading up to the cemetery," said Hays.
All this is becoming possible because of the devoted efforts of people within the community and the grant.
Despite the efforts Union Pacific puts into improving the Blackfoot community, there have been several people who expressed frustration towards the trains and their tendency to block several roadways in town at any given time.
"We're currently in the process of figuring out a better solution for the train issue that Blackfoot faces," said Loomis. "But it's also important to recognize that the railroads are an integral part of the community."
Southern Idaho is home to Union Pacific's main channel to the Pacific Northwest. The network of railroad lines help serve and distribute Idaho's agricultural products including potatoes, sugar beets, beans, grain, fertilizer, phosphate and forest products. On top of that, refrigerated products, lumber, building materials, food and beverages are all transported through rail.
In 2014, Union Pacific provided support for several communities in Idaho by donating more than $245,000 to charitable organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho, Bonners Ferry Fire Department and the Cystric Fibrosis foundation. Because of Union Pacific's continuous charitable motives, Blackfoot was able to receive a grant for the new cemetery entrance.
"We are grateful for Union Pacific and what they have done in beautifying the City of Blackfoot," said Loomis.