For the last eight years, Beverly Main Streets has hosted an annual downtown cleanup in preparation for spring, but this year the organization is making some changes.
In partnership with the Beverly Historical Society and the Friendly Garden Club, Main Streets is hoping to restore the yard and gardens of the Cabot House back to what they looked like in 1891.
The cleanup is being held on Saturday April 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"We're trying to focus on specific properties this year," said Gin Wallace, executive director of Main Streets. "We thought this might be more meaningful to people.''
Wallace added that the attendance for the downtown cleanup has dwindled in the last few years from 150 people to 25 people.
Thus far, at least 60 local college students, Beverly residents and businesses have signed up to participate in the garden restoration.
"The response has been very positive," Wallace said. "Especially since we sent out the email two days ago."
The Beverly Historical Society has a garden plan that dates back to 1891, which the participants are going to try and follow as closely as possible.
Since there are many plants from 1891 that don't exist anymore, Wallace added, members of the Friendly Garden Club, that also belong to the Historical Society, are working on a plan to replace them.
"After 200 years things have changed quite a lot," said Jeanne Murdock, president of the Friendly Garden Club. "The trees have grown up above the property. It is primarily a shade garden. We can't exactly plant the garden how it was, but we can try to do it as closely as it was."
In the 1800s, irises lined a pathway in the garden, but today, Murdock said, those would be shaded out be a giant beach tree.
An old pear tree is the only thing that has survived in the garden from the 1800s, other than a small amount of lilacs.
Murdock said that it could be a five-year project due to a very tight budget, but the first step is moving structures off the property, rebuilding fences and cleaning up the garden.