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Henrico Asked for Legislative Help To Maintain Historic Cemeteries

A cemetary overgrown with trees and vines.
East End Cemetery, before and after volunteers cleared away vines, brush, fallen trees and debris. (Photo: John Shuck)

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors wants to ask the General Assembly to give the county more authority in dealing with historic and privately-owned cemeteries that have become overgrown and in disrepair. 

There are graves dating back to the 1800’s in the Woodland and East End Cemeteries. These are historic African American cemeteries in need of preserving.

John Shuck:   We found over 1500 tires had been dumped along the road at East End.

John Shuck is a retired IT worker and volunteer, who has cleared ivy, brush, fallen trees and tires at the gravesites.

Shuck:   Henrico sent out a dumpster and with volunteer help we filled it three times.

The county manager and his staff made it one of their team-building projects, but the county wanted to do more.

Legislative Liaison Mike Schnurman:  There wasn’t a lot of authority prior to it becoming a problem.

Schnurman:  And so, what we seek to do with this legislation is sort of equalize that authority across the county.

Schnurman says he thinks the cemeteries’ owners should also be held more responsible for upkeep.