Cemetery Preservation Group, Inc. is a “501(c)(3)” nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, preservation and protection of historic cemeteries. We are staffed by volunteers so 100% of your tax-deductible donations go directly to cemetery repairs and preservation.
We have selected three cemeteries in Selma as our initial projects and look forward to making many improvements to the condition of these cemeteries as donations and grants are secured.
Some of the improvements we will be working on are:
1. Closing open graves and mausoleums that have been damaged or that are partially collapsed.
2. Cleaning grave markers. Most of the markers over 20 years old have biological growth on them that needs to be cleaned at least every 10 to 20 years.
3. Repairing broken grave markers and leveling markers that have become unsteady. Oftentimes, grave markers are the only source of information about many individuals, and loss of these markers represents information that can never be retrieved.
4. Tree trimming – many of the oak trees in our cemeteries are over 100 years old and are in desperate need of attention. They have not been trimmed in many decades if at all. Many have dead limbs that need to be removed for the health of the trees and the safety of people that visit the cemeteries.
5. Removal and replacement of dead trees - There are several dead trees that need to be removed before someone is hurt or killed. These falling trees and limbs will also damage grave markers. We will be replanting live oak trees that take many years to mature so it is important that we get these planted as soon as possible.
6. Repair collapsed brick retaining walls along walkways in Old Live Oak Cemetery.
7. Signage – Many of the division markers are missing and need to be replaced. We also will be installing wayfinder signs to help people find various sections within the cemeteries and to also point out graves of historical significance.
8. Safety and Security assessment, lighting, fence and gate repairs or replacement.
9. Evaluation and mitigation of drainage and erosion problems.
Many individuals have been working in the cemeteries cutting grass, trimming shrubs, picking up limbs, litter and leaves on a regular basis and I know that all of Selma is very grateful for these volunteers. We are hopeful that they will continue their efforts and we want to assist them by implementing an Adopt-A-Plot program until city workers can be rehired.
While we are not normally involved in the day to day maintenance of cemeteries, we have agreed to take on and manage an Adopt-A-Plot program to work in conjunction with those already volunteering so that we can assist in making sure that the grass is cut on a routine basis. We will need many church, civic and other organizations to volunteer to help with this effort. Most families, that still live in the area, prefer to take care of their own plots. Many of the over 25,000 individuals buried in these three cemeteries no longer have family here or their family members are elderly or physically unable to cut the grass. As you know, the City has routinely provided grass cutting in the cemeteries since they were first established as far back as 1829 but due to circumstances beyond our control that has suddenly changed. We must pull together to maintain these cemeteries to the best of our ability out of respect and common decency for those buried there. Please consider adopting a plot within one of our three cemeteries to help keep the grass under control.
Please volunteer today. If you are unable to volunteer please consider a tax-deductible donation.