Concerns over future of Evergreen Cemetery after owner’s death
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For years we’ve been covering clean-up efforts of a private cemetery in Savannah.
But still, families of those buried at Evergreen Cemetery say conditions are bad, putting a strain on them as they pay their respects to loved ones.
At a news conference on Wednesday we learned that the owner of Evergreen Cemetery, the property where it sits, passed away and didn’t leave a will. So that leaves the future of the property in limbo. Right now the case is in probate court.
“Many prominent African American families buried their loved ones here with promise of perpetual care. Unfortunately, we know that did not work out the way it was supposed to have worked out,” said District 5 Alderwoman Dr. Estella Shabazz.
She pointed out the City invested around $90,000 in 2019 into a cleanup with hopes of attracting a buyer for the property, that someone was interested, but the deal fell through.
Without regular care these gravesites ultimately get overtaken by tall grass, bushes and trees, making it difficult for families like Gerri Clark’s to visit their loved ones.
“There are so many graves out here covered, you can’t even see where it is,” said Clark.
Alderwoman Shabazz says the city attorney is keeping a close watch of the case involving the land in probate court, but with case backlogs it’s taking time to be resolved. The 5th District councilwoman did share what she’d like to see happen when there is some resolution.
“That is for the City to own this property, and we continue to maintain it, as the residents I know would like to see,” said Alderwoman Shabazz.
Until then, it’s up to neighborhood groups, families and volunteers to clear out enough space to visit Evergreen’s gravesites.
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