SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Over the years, we’ve heard about Evergreen Cemetery from frustrated families and community members, and watched as volunteer groups came through trying to make a difference.
Now that a new effort is underway to clean up the cemetery, they’ve made a pretty remarkable difference. Throughout the process, as they’ve been clearing all the trees debris and undergrowth, it’s revealed a lot of gravestones that haven’t seen sunlight in a very long time.
“It was so depressing at times, I didn’t want to come.”
Sam Oliver’s brother, cousin, and grandmother are buried at Evergreen Cemetery. He says he knows he’s not the only one with loved ones there who have struggled seeing the condition of the final resting place.
“To come back and see the condition of the resting place is just, uh...it’s heartbreaking,” he said.
Oliver says it’s a night and day difference since the contracting crew has come in, and he hopes it stays that way.
Even though it’s in better shape, some, like Art Patterson, know it’ll take a community effort to keep it that way, no matter the outcome with the property owner.
“What’s it going to look like four, five months from now? I mean, is it going to get right back up here again? Are those volunteers coming back out again? What can we do? What can we call to arms to get this place out here cleaned up and make it look presentable,” Patterson questioned.
Patterson says he plans on continuing his voluntary visits and offers to share his equipment with anyone who wants to help him.
The contractors say they’ll be back next week, and they’re calling on those with family buried there as well as more volunteers to help them straighten up the gravesites.
The whole project costs around $90,000. The city says if the property owner doesn’t pay the cost of the contractor, they’ll put a lien on the property.