Resident leads Green Lawn Cemetery clean-up effort

A gravestone not attached to the base.

By LorettaRodgers

The nearly 100 degree temperatures did not prevent Chester resident Roniesha Strand and a group of dedicated volunteers from spending two Sundays in July clearing the Green Lawn Cemetery of high weeds and debris.

Chester resident Roniesha Strand and her mother Donna cleaning up a section of Green Lawn Cemetery.

The cemetery, on Concord Road in Chester Township, is the final resting place for hundreds of people, primarily African Americans, dating back to the late 19th century. What should be a place of dignity and peace is instead a haven for high weeds, unkempt and overgrown gravesites, downed trees, and toppled and damaged gravestones.

A grave nearly hidden completely by weeds.

“This is really a disgrace,” said Strand. “Nobody’s loved one should be in a place like this, especially when family members paid for perpetual care.”

Strand said she often visits the graves of her father, grandparents, uncles and aunts and has been very upset at the condition of the cemetery. A few weeks ago she and the daughter of a friend visited the cemetery and became so frustrated, she decided to take action.

Chester Rural Cemetery located across the street from Crozer Chester Medical Center is well maintained.

“I was given a number to call about the cemetery, but it was a disconnected line,” she said. “Everywhere I turned…

For the entire story pick up this week’s Chester Spirit.

Overgrown weeds and grass hide the graves of loved ones.

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