What is acceptable, and what do we really expect cemetery caretakers to do? The newscast in the video above is a cry out to the community for help. The same thing is happening in your community. Many people find this kind of damage when they go to visit a cemetery. Visitors often find themselves to be disappointed in the condition of the cemetery, yet they don’t know what to do about it.
Some cemeteries end up with out a caretaker. So it becomes up to volunteers in the community to take care of the cemetery. If no one takes care of the cemetery, the grass and bushes may never get cut and the overgrowth will take over. Tree limbs lay everywhere and headstones can be turned over and broken. This makes for an endangered and forgotten cemetery.
If the cemetery does have a caretaker then that caretaker should care more then to leave the cemetery with unpleasant sites for visitors to see. As soon as you visit a cemetery you know if the caretakers really cares about the cemetery or they are only doing minimal maintenance. It takes a caring person to love the work of taking care of a cemetery and to 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. This video shows a Caretaker who cares!
We at Saveagrave.net wish to encourage everyone to get involved in your local cemeteries. A good place to start is to 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 need help and would like some volunteers. Read our page on finding volunteers.
If you come across 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 might 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 graves you will feel rewarded.