Cemetery Maintenance Is A Significant Cause

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To the editor:

I saw your recent article on the T.C. Williams volunteer project to clean up the abandoned Douglass Cemetery (Volunteers Give Douglass Cemetery A Makeover, September 8, 2009.)

Since April 2007, we have organized a group of local volunteers semi-annually to clean up the Douglass Cemetery, the Christ Church Cemetery and the much larger abandoned Methodist Cemetery. We have city support through the arborist, John Nohle, with volunteers from Christ Church and Old Town. We usually have about 25 volunteers.

The old Methodist Cemetery belonged to the church that once stood where the Ross store is now located and so probably has been abandoned for more than 50 years.

We remove debris, remove ivy from memorials, try to maintain the memorial plots to keep them free of weeds and vines and have repaired the gazebo in the Douglass Cemetery. In the process we discovered several large obelisk memorials that were completely covered by vines. We also work on the Douglass Cemetery to try to keep ahead of all the undergrowth and remove fallen branches and debris to help the city mowing crews. Our next effort will take place November 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please inform your readers to contact [email protected] if they are interested in aiding the process. Thank you.

Barry Stauffer
Alexandria

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