What is acceptable, and what do we really expect cemetery caretakers to do? The news cast in the video above shows you what happens to many people when they go to visit a loved one in a cemetery. Visitors often find themselves to be disappointed in the condition of the cemetery.
I feel that a cemetery caretakers should care more than to leave the cemetery with unpleasant sight for visitors to see. As soon as you visit a cemetery you know if the caretakers really care about the cemetery or they are only doing minimal maintainance. It takes a caring person to love the work of taking care of a cemetery and do a great job.
To some it’s just a job. They may only mow the grounds, do basic clean up and repairs, and not really care what the cemetery looks like.
We know that some cemeteries do not have a caretaker; it may be up to volunteers in the community to take care of the cemetery. Then again, no one may be taking care of the cemetery at all. The grass and bushes may never be cut and the overgrowth has taken over. Tree limbs are down and headstones have turned over and some are broken. This makes the cemetery endangered or a forgotten cemetery.
We at Saveagrave.net wish to encourage everyone to get involved in your local cemeteries. Check the status of all your local cemeteries, if the cemetery you visit is not acceptable find out who the caretaker is and have a talk with them. Point out what you think needs to be done and ask if they are going to take care of it on an on going basis. Ask them if they need help and would like some volunteers. Read our page on finding volunteers.
If you come a cross a cemetery that is endangered, it will take some research to find out if someone owns the ground the cemetery is on. Private land owners can some times be hard to work with. They may not want people coming on the property. It’s worth a try to talk to them, to let them know how you are willing to help and come to some kind of agreement with them.
Most states do not have laws to protect gravesites, so the law might not be on your side, however the media can be. You can always find a reporter who may be willing to do a story on the cemetery and get some community action. It’s not always easy and you can’t win every fight, but when you are able to make a difference and save a grave you will be so proud.