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Residents shocked by damage to Forest Lawn Cemetery | New

Over the weekend, many Lewis County residents expressed frustration with the condition and the damage at a local cemetery

Following a post and dozens of photos posted on Facebook, hundreds of residents began to voice their complaints and call Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

The photos showed the cemetery with damaged ground, vases; scattered flowers; and mud covering landmarks and gravestones.

The Facebook post received more than 400 comments and almost 600 shares and repostes.

“As I walked by today, I noticed all these ruts in the ground made by tractor tires,” said Michelle Taylor, a resident. “Several tombstones are covered in mud, multiple broken vases and tire tracks above the tombstones. A grave was dug and only three quarters of the way was backfilled with earth.

“I have loved ones in this cemetery, as I know many others. Something has to be done about it. Absolutely no one, dead or alive, deserves this level of disrespect and neglect. It is simply not acceptable.

Local resident Linda Arbogast agreed with Taylor and said she thought the situation was disrespectful.

“I understand the ground is wet, but there was no reason to crush people’s markers, knock over vases, or crush flowers,” Arbogast said. “For me, it’s a total disrespect. I am from the old school and have learned to respect your loved ones who have passed away. I have a lot of family members in this cemetery, and it upsets me a lot. Clean up the cemetery, repair the roads and don’t drive over people’s graves and markers. If the ground is wet and damaged, repair it or use a shovel to dig graves.

On Sunday evening, Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens posted a public message on its social media account, apologizing for the incident and stating that the issue would be resolved.

“We have been made aware of the problem with the Gardens of the Good Shepherd,” the cemetery said. “This is dealt with immediately. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call the office at 304-269-4231.

Forest Lawn Memorial Garden also responded to comments on the post, saying employees would deal with the issue the best they could without bringing equipment to the field.

Many locals said they were unhappy with the way the graves were handled and added that they hoped something like this would not happen again.

Weston Democrat has contacted the owners of Forest Lawn by phone, but has so far received no comment.

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Green Lawn Cemetery restores statue of 118-year-old ‘fisherman’ – News – The Columbus Dispatch

For nearly 120 years, the memory of Emil Ambos has been perpetuated through his statue on his grave at Green Lawn Cemetery on the West Side.

On Monday, a new day began for his legacy, as the cemetery officially unveiled its recently restored statue of Ambos, commonly referred to as the “Fisherman’s Statue”.

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“Restoring this statue was a top priority because of its history and artistic merit, combined with its popularity with people who visit the cemetery,” said Randy Rogers, president of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association, the group at non-profit which owns the cemetery and is responsible for its preservation and restoration.

The bronze statue was cast in 1901 and depicts Ambos, who died in 1898, seated on a log holding a fishing rod in one hand and a fish net in the other with a bucket at his feet.

“He was a gentleman and a playboy,” Rogers said. “He was a ‘Bruce Wayne’ type figure in town,” in reference to Batman’s wealthy alter-ego.

Restoration of the statue was necessary due to both vandalism and age.

In the late 1990s, a vandal broke into the cemetery and shot the statue, hitting it in the center of Ambos’ straw hat. A few years later, the fish began to disappear from the spar. This was all happening as the statue began to turn green, a common discoloration from bronze exposed to the elements.

“We decided the only way to do it right was to insert it away from moisture,” said Mike Major, the Urbana-based sculptor who performed the restoration. “We actually had to clean the surface to get all that oxidation out. I also re-sculpted the fish based on a photo where there was still a fish left.

Major first sandblasted the statue to remove the oxidation before applying a mixture of wax and acid which restored the original brown hue. After bolting the new fish and a bucket handle, he applied a final coat of wax to prevent oxidation. In total, the restoration lasted about 2 1/2 months.

“If this statue is waxed every year, it will last for eternity,” Major said. “But if it is neglected, it will probably be 15 to 30 years depending on how much sand is blowing in the wind.”

The restoration, which Roger said cost around $ 30,000, was paid for by the cemetery council endowment combined with the annual donations the cemetery receives. The restoration was part of the preparations for the 175th anniversary of the cemetery, which will take place in 2023.

For Roger, the restoration not only cleaned up one of Green Lawn’s most famous statues, but also brought new attention to the history of Ambos, which Roger considers important for any cemetery.

“It’s really rewarding when we do restoration work here in the cemetery, because not only are we preserving the history of our city, but we are also preserving those stories,” Roger said. “We have people buried here who are well known; we have people here who are not. But when you come in and start researching them, you find they all had a story. “

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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story distorted the age of the statue.

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Green Lawn Cemetery celebrates 170 years with a look to the future

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Saturday was a special day for Green Lawn Cemetery, celebrating 170 years in Columbus with tours and a barbecue.

Why celebrate a cemetery? The owners take advantage of this year to draw attention to the historic beauty of the land and to celebrate the new management of the cemetery.

Dozens of people gathered to visit deceased family members and learn more about the history of Green Lawn.

“We have families who have been buried here since the 1800s and continue to be buried here today,” said Randel Rogers, president and director of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association. “You find all the stories of Columbus right here in the cemetery.”

Generations lie side by side at Green Lawn, including the family of Tom Maurer.

“This is my grandfather Frank, who has worked here all his wholesale productive life,” said Maurer, who also worked as a guard at the cemetery. “It’s his wife over there, his mother and stepfather buried in front of him.”

While working at Greenlawn, Maurer learned hard work and followed in his family’s footsteps.

“I worked here from 1941 to 1946,” he says. “My grandfather worked here before me.

Decades later, a new venture is helping bring this historic piece of land and the memories that come with it to life.

Kyle Nikola and Memorial Properties of Ohio take over Green Lawn operations.

“As a graduate of OSU, I felt a connection with Columbus,” Nikola said. “I wanted to come back here and be able to represent the community and do something special. ”

But being a cemetery keeper is more than making sure the grounds are clean and presentable. It is also about preserving history.

“We think it’s important to be a keeper of the family heritage, so we’re going to be doing things like life reviews and interviews with families and we’re keeping that in our permanent records here so that when future generations come along. looking for their ancestry, they will learn a lot more than where they were buried or just the dates of birth and death, ”said Nilola.

For Maurer, who turned 91 on July 5, the cemetery’s growth and improvements will only keep his family memories alive for decades to come.

“You can support the start of our family here,” he said.

This year is just the start of the next five years, when much of the cemetery will be restored, leading to a grand 175th anniversary celebration.

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Kurri Lawn Cemetery will undergo expansion as part of a new cemetery master plan adopted by Cessnock City Council. | The advertiser – Cessnock

KURRI Kurri Lawn Cemetery will be expanded as part of a new cemetery master plan adopted by Cessnock City Council.

The document will guide the future of the 12 electorate cemeteries managed by the Council.

Mayor Bob Pynsent said council welcomes feedback from the community and the expansion would ensure a future resting place for those in the community who so desire.

“This master plan was developed following extensive community consultation. The council received very valuable feedback from residents, ”he said.

“We understand that any change must be respectful for everyone in the community, those who are buried and for their families.”

The new internment area will be 750 square meters and will include 156 new burial plots. These works include the installation of automatic irrigation, concrete beams for the burial of lawns, turf and the construction of roads, paths and landscaping.

The majority of the work will take place during weekdays to minimize disruption to visitors during peak weekend periods.

Cemeteries have been quite the subject of local government after regulatory changes by the state government last year.

Previously the Advertiser reported that the Cessnock Council had pushed back the 2018 Cemeteries and Crematorium Regulations, which will allow cemetery operators to allow the rental of graves for a period of 25 to 99 years for people who cannot afford a permanent site.

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Cover: Army sergeant. Stanislaus Roy’s grave at Green Lawn Cemetery – Entertainment – Columbus Alive

It finally appears that the name on the local gravestone will be spelled write, uh, rite … uh, correctly

Born in France, Stanislaus Roy joined the United States Army, became a sergeant, and received the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery following the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana in 1876.

And then he was buried with the wrong name.

Following the sergeant. When Roy died in 1913, his internment card mentioned his last name first. To make matters worse, her last name was misspelled. As a result, his gravestone at Green Lawn Cemetery read Roy Stanislas for about 80 years.

When a researcher discovered the error in the 1990s, it appeared that the spelling would finally be corrected. But when the gravestone was replaced, the “u” was again omitted from the sergeant’s name. As a result, his gravestone read Stanislas Roy for about two decades.

When Anietra Hamper visited the grounds in 2017 to research her book, Secret Columbus, she found a temporary “section under renovation” marker. Was Roy finally getting the gravestone he deserved?

Not enough. His gravestone was being cleaned and restored with gold leaf put back in the lettering, but the spelling error remained. The cemetery was still unaware of the error.

Today, thanks to Hamper, plans are underway to update the gravestone.

“At one point the internment card was corrected and we know the correct spelling of his name, but the marker itself was never corrected,” said Randy Rogers, executive director of Green Lawn. Cemetery Association.

According to the policy of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, changes to markers must be requested by a family member. Unable to find relatives, Rogers contacted Rep Steve Stivers to intervene.

“When we had a problem repairing the grave of a Medal of Honor recipient a few years ago, [Stivers] stepped in and helped us, ”Rogers said.

At the time of going to press, Rogers was still awaiting a response. Hopefully Roy will finally rest in peace by Christmas – 105 years later.

Read more:

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Centralia to receive funds for the restoration of Washington Lawn cemetery

By Will Rubin [email protected]

Centralia City Council is expected to approve a grant agreement with the state’s Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation on Tuesday for $ 27,238 in public funds to be used in conjunction with the efforts of the George Washington Bicentennial Committee to renovate the cemetery by Washington Lawn.

Councilors voted unanimously earlier this year to sponsor the committee’s request for a capital grant for the preservation of the historic cemetery that requested approximately $ 41,000 for three specific projects at the cemetery. Two of the three – the installation of a concrete walkway and curb around the family Washington plot, and the restoration of six 150-year-old limestone headstones – will be funded by the grant.

Committee member Bob Russell led the grant application process and says he looks forward to seeing the effort pay off.

“It will basically create a triangle where you can go from (the Olympic club) McMenamins to the graveyard to the (George Washington) statue,” Russell said. “This may be one more site on the historic walk around Centralia.”

The George Washington Bicentennial Committee recently completed its efforts to fund and install a statue in Washington Park of Centralia founder George Washington and his wife Mary Jane as part of his bicentennial celebration.

A major point of conversation among committee members over the past few months has been how to support efforts to recognize the Washington family now that the statue is complete.

The George Washington nominated scholarships will be awarded annually by the committee to students of Centralia College.

“Every year they will have to hear the name ‘George Washington’,” Russell said.

Restoring the Washington’s last home will give them another way to involve the community in their efforts.

“This is a neat way to restore and maintain part of Centralia’s heritage and history,” said committee chair Brian Mittge. “We’ve cleaned it up a lot over the past year and a half. We’ve done a lot of repair work, we’re looking to invest more in the long term, and it looks like we’re going to be able to do a lot. “

The grant itself will be funded on a reimbursement basis. Centralia sponsored the grant on behalf of the committee, so city funds will be used to pay local workers who submitted bids as part of the grant application.

One, Centralia Monument, has been responsible for making many headstones in Washington Lawn Cemetery for over 100 years.

Russell said he plans to work with Centralia City Manager Rob Hill and Community Development Manager Emil Pierson to get both projects in motion as soon as possible once city council approves the deal. subsidy.

“One of the things I appreciated so much about the community effort to celebrate the life of George Washington was the diversity of the group,” said Russell. “The city has been an integral part and my little piece in it has been extremely rewarding. “

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More than Fairfield’s final home for the stars

FAIRFIELD – Oak Lawn Cemetery is the final resting place of some well-known people, like Jason Robards and Mary Tyler Moore, as well as many of the town’s founding families.

But it’s also a certified arboretum, one of only two in the state of Connecticut, and the only one in a cemetery.

And Bronson Hawley, president of Oak Lawn, wants people to come and enjoy the more than 100 acres at 1530 Bronson Road.

“That’s the point of it all,” Hawley said last week, at a reception to kick off the audio walking tour of the arboretum. “We want people to come here. We don’t want it to be a sad place.

An area along the Mill River has been smothered by invasive plants, but Hawley said these have been removed and replaced with native plants and hardwoods, thanks to two grants from the State Department of the Energy and Environmental Protection.

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful area,” said Hawley. There are five miles of walking and biking route, and nature trails established in 2015 by some Boy Scouts as part of an Eagle Scout project.

“We are trying to do more programs here,” he said. “We’re not just for funerals, but we’re honoring what our founders started.”

A veterans memorial was installed near the entrance in 2014, and in 2015, the association began hosting annual bird walks led by the Milan Bull of Connecticut Audubon.

The cemetery association was incorporated in 1865, named after the oak tree that stood in front of the entrance to the property, and with the intention that the land would serve as a botanical garden.

The board began planting oak trees along the riverbanks at the behest of Mable Osgood Wright, founder of the Connecticut Audubon Society. Now, an arboretum committee selects new specimens for the property.

Trees included in the audio tour range from mature specimens, such as a flowering dogwood, to a fairly young giant sequoia protected by a fence. It won’t stay small, as they reach an average height of 280 feet. The tour brochure includes a map and descriptions of the trees, as well as a Q code to scan with your smartphone to hear the audio. For more information visit

William Allen and Don Parrott were the two main people who organized the tour and spent time tagging and identifying the trees, said Hawley, helping to promote the property as a community resource, not just a funeral site .

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Volunteers plant saplings to replace oldest trees in Green Lawn Cemetery – news – the Columbus Dispatch

Randy Rogers grabbed a shovel and started digging a hole at Green Lawn Cemetery. But the new grave in the cemetery was not meant to be a grave.

Within minutes, Rogers filled the hole with a young white oak tree, his seventh planting of the day. There were five more.

“We have to plant trees now,” said Rogers, who earned the nickname “Lorax of Green Lawn”.

“We feel like we waited until the last minute,” he said.

To replace some of the state’s oldest trees, which are nearing the end of their life cycle, the cemetery has set aside an annual budget of $ 15,000 to plant 150 to 200 native trees each year. Rogers just completed the third spring planting season of the Emergency Canopy Restoration Project.

On the cemetery grounds, 60 to 70 percent of the original oak and maple trees begin to succumb to hundreds of years of insects, disease, lightning strikes, and loss of branches and limbs from extreme weather conditions. When they were just acorns and saplings, Ohio was not yet a state.

“At one point, the tree is so old and has so much accumulated ailments that it either dies or falls,” said Rogers, who volunteers at the cemetery at least five days a week. “There is nothing behind to replace them.”

Many Green Lawn guests visit the space to study historic tombstones, jog, picnic, or walk their dogs. The non-profit association that operates the grounds offers free, self-guided, full-service historical tours. And the cemetery is often used as an educational tool and urban arboretum for forest educators.

“If you don’t plan for the future by replanting new things… all of a sudden that green canopy is gone,” said Kathy Smith, director of forestry extension at Ohio State University. “In an urban setting, you almost try to recreate what’s going on in the woods, and that has to depend on the human side.”

Green Lawn is also a popular destination for animals who should also benefit from the tree restocking effort. For example, during the first weeks of May and September, the site is a green oasis for migrating songbirds that fly to and from Canada’s boreal forests.

“It takes a lot of food and stamina to do the flight. Green Lawn is like a rest stop on a bird road, ”said Jim McCormac, retired Ohio Department of Natural Resources biologist and former member of the Green Lawn Cemetery board of directors. “These places are growing in weight and importance as we are reducing habitat at a remarkable rate.”

Rogers, who first visited Green Lawn as a bird watcher, keeps birds in mind as he maps and plants the area’s latest generation of trees. Using a palette of around 30 basic species, Rogers spread trees of varying heights, flowering seasons, and aesthetics across the field.

“My process is 70% science and 30% art,” Rogers said.

He placed witch hazel, which has medicinal properties, near the grave of Lincoln Goodale, the town’s first physician. Soon, Rogers will be taking tree seeds from Frederick Douglass’s grave at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, and planting them in Green Lawn near the headstone of local civil rights legend, the Headstone of Reverend James. Poindexter.

“This is what we want to see our communities do – periodically make these plantings so that you have trees of different ages gradually established,” said Lisa Bowers, ODNR urban forester for central Ohio.

Diligent planting also helps protect urban trees from invasive plants, pests and disease, Bowers said.

The canopy restoration project began three years ago when a team measured, identified and mapped the 4,343 trees in the cemetery. By the end of the year, Rogers hopes to increase that number to 4,600 trees.

And by the end of the seven-year effort, the hope is to extend the life of the cemetery’s mixed oak forest for another 200 years.

Today, Green Lawn has about 11 trees per acre, a far cry from the site’s peak arboreal season around 1880, when about 15 trees graced each acre.

“This is what we want to come back to,” Rogers said.

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Security camera shows latest vandal to damage Green Lawn cemetery – news – the Columbus Dispatch

Yellow warning tape flapped in the wind, crisscrossing the entrance to a mausoleum erected nearly 100 years ago.

It is the latest sign of vandalism at Green Lawn Cemetery, where more than 600 graves have been damaged over the past two years at a cost of over $ 1 million.

The latest incident happened on January 9 when a man entered through a broken fence and damaged a mausoleum and eight burial sites before grabbing a handful of American flags from the graves of veterans and lighting them. He threw the burning flags into a heap of brush – an act captured by a security camera – before leaving the cemetery.

“The fences are a lot like locks. They keep honest people out,” said Randy Rogers, administrator on the Cemetery Volunteer Council.

The cemetery houses the graves of five governors and five Medal of Honor recipients, including Civil War veteran Ovid Smith, whose headstone was damaged by vandals on August 14.

The 360-acre Green Lawn Cemetery was founded in 1848 and designed by a landscape architect to be a rural cemetery that would offer peace and quiet.

Many personalities are buried there, including Samuel Bush, a grandfather of President George HW Bush; comedian James Thurber; and Cromwell Dixon, a 19-year-old who was the first person to fly over the Continental Divide.

The damaged mausoleum is where Al G. Field was buried 96 years ago. He was known for his minstrel shows which toured 46 weeks a year in the Midwest and East Coast and an extended tour in the South, according to Dispatch records.

“Minstrel shows are a mixed part of our history. On the one hand, they have perpetuated a lot of racist stereotypes,” Rogers said. “On the other hand, they also introduced a certain black culture to white Americans when they had the black minstrel shows.”

Field’s shows were notable in that he also hosted a separate show with an all-black cast, Rogers said.

Field’s grave was disrupted a few weeks ago when a vandal attempted to smash the glass on the front doors. The doors had been replaced with safety glass after a previous incident. This time, a point had cracks around the point of impact.

At the back of the mausoleum, shards of stained glass in purple and blue hues remain around the frame of a window. Its replacement will cost around $ 3,500.

Cemetery staff could not reach any of Field’s descendants. There may not be. This has been a challenge for many damaged historic burial sites, leaving the cemetery association to find the money to pay for repairs.

“Everyone is saddened and heartbroken by this. Everyone is angry about it,” Rogers said.

The Columbus Landmarks Foundation held a walking tour of the damage on Sunday, with all proceeds going to restoration efforts.

Rogers later said more than 80 people attended and someone donated $ 3,500 to repair the stained glass.

Columbus State Community College created a course this semester that allows students to map damaged burial sites to aid cemetery employees.

A page for cemetery restoration was set up a few months ago, and nearly $ 6,000 was raised through this effort and Sunday’s walk.

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers, which offers the $ 1,000 reward, posted photos of the latest vandalism in hopes that someone will present a tip leading to an arrest.

“This is no trivial case of vandalism. It is repeating itself,” said Kristen McKinley, chairman of the board of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information can call 614-461-TIPS (8477), submit a tip online at or message CRIMES, or 274637, and use the keyword CMH.

The director of the dispatch library, Julie Fulton, contributed to this story.

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Green Lawn cemetery vandals cause $ 1.25 million in damage – news – the Columbus Dispatch

Gravestones nearly two centuries old lie on their side in the dirt. The obelisks are shattered into pieces. Statues that have watched over the decades are pushed straight from their pedestals. Over the course of two summers, vandals repeatedly infiltrated historic Green Lawn Cemetery after dark and kicked and pushed and made their way through more than 1.25 million dollars in damage. The nonprofit Green Lawn Cemetery turned to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers – and the public – for help.

Gravestones nearly two centuries old lie on their side in the dirt. The obelisks are shattered into pieces. Statues that have watched over the decades are pushed straight from their pedestals.

Over the course of two summers, vandals repeatedly infiltrated historic Green Lawn Cemetery after dark and kicked and pushed and made their way through more than 1.25 million dollars in damage. The nonprofit Green Lawn Cemetery turned to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers and the public ?? to help.

“A few damaged markers, we can handle that,” said Randy Rogers, administrator of Green Lawn. This happens during a storm or when a giant branch falls from an old tree. But more than 600 monuments? “It’s completely overwhelming.”

Anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest of a vandal or cemetery thief will receive a cash reward of $ 1,000, said Crime Stoppers President Kristen McKinley. It will be an ongoing partnership between the two groups, with Crime Stoppers collecting information from informants, who will remain anonymous, and the cemetery funding the rewards. Signs will be posted around the cemetery announcing the prize, which officials hope will serve as a deterrent.

“To the person or persons who do these heinous acts, you will get caught,” McKinley said. “To the person or people who have information about this or who know who is doing this, think of the families of the deceased who are buried in these graves. How would you feel? … Do the right thing. ”

Due to the dollar amount involved, said Detective Jason Evans of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, this is a crime of vandalism. He got some leads but could use more information, he said.

Green Lawn Cemetery, established in 1848, spans 360 acres of rolling hills designed by a landscape architect. Many personalities are buried there, including Samuel Bush, the grandfather of President George HW Bush; former Ohio Governor and US Senator John Bricker, who was running mate of presidential candidate Thomas Dewey in 1944; World War I aviation ace Eddie Rickenbacker; and comedian James Thurber.

The oldest sections of the cemetery, which suffered the most damage, are furthest from the main entrance.

The perimeter is approximately 3 1/2 miles with 2.2 miles of fence. On Tuesday, a man cutting through the graveyard slipped just between two folded slats of the fence retreating towards Brown Road.

Cemetery officials believe the ten or so incidents, all of which occurred during the hot months of 2015 and 2016, are linked. The security patrol chased and nearly grabbed two men on one occasion, and described them as two white men of about 20 years of age, of average height and build.

On August 14, vandals damaged 109 monuments overnight. On November 26, the most recent incident, they pushed over 30 to 40 markers, causing between $ 35,000 and $ 45,000 in damage. Simply resetting a small stone marker costs $ 600, Rogers said.

“They were very vindictive,” he said. “They will pick up a tablet and smash it on another tablet.”

Some of the most significant damage is to a monument to Gustavus Swan, a War of 1812 veteran, Ohio Supreme Court judge in 1829-30 and best known for organizing Ohio’s first banking system . He died on February 6, 1860.

The vandals had to climb the high stone base to reach the columned part at the top, and they smashed a life-size Swan bust. The pieces, with the face destroyed, are still sitting at the base.

The cemetery has a portrait of Swan and a piece of the tile from which the bust was made. But to do it again will cost tens of thousands of dollars.

People can call Central Ohio Crime Stoppers for advice at 614-461-8477 or by using the website. Identities are kept anonymous, McKinley said.

The association accepts donations from the public, both by mail and in person at the Green Lawn office. Rogers also launched a page for cemetery restoration about a month ago.

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