Volunteers plan Saturday Green Lawn Cemetery cleanup

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
CHINA GROVE — A group of citizens has taken on the task of maintaining Green Lawn Cemetery, and they’re asking for help and donations to fund the clean-up effort.
A former group that for decades managed the cleaning and maintenance of the cemetery dissolved and this group — Green Lawn Private Cemetery Inc. — took over the care about a year ago.
The former group used funds from purchasers of grave plots to pay for cemetery maintenance. But in 2009, funds for cemetery care began dwindling.
Families who bought plots at the cemetery, which is located along Main Street, were asked to give $100 per grave to establish the maintenance fund.
“We knew the upkeep had stopped in the last of December of 2009. It was growing up again,” said Thelma Corriher, a member of the board of directors.
She said renewed interest in the cemetery began around April 2010 when a stranger who was driving past the site began mowing the grass.
He didn’t have any relatives buried in the cemetery, but wanted to help.
“He said he couldn’t stand the idea of it not being maintained,” Corriher said.
The man was given donations to help with gas, and he and his family mowed the cemetery about three times. Corriher’s husband, Grey, also mowed the cemetery a few times.
That was all they needed to gear the citizens’ group back up. The new group has been active since the fall of 2010.
The Green Lawn Private Cemetery Inc. group has since raised some money through donations, much of which came from board members and individuals, but needs funds to continue the upkeep.
On Saturday, the committee and volunteers will gather at the cemetery at 10 a.m. to clean debris and right some headstones that have fallen over.
The group is in the midst of applying for nonprofit status.
“We really need to rake leaves and have grave sites that are sunk in, and we are slowly trying to fill in dirt. The tombstones are leaning and need to be repositioned,” said board of directors Treasurer Amy Martin.
Martin said many on the board have met a few times to clear debris and do a few other things to spruce up the area.
“We are trying to slowly get it back to where it used to be,” she said.
Larry Sheets of Hometown Lawn Care currently mows the property.
Three local churches — Mount Zion United Church of Christ, Oak Grove Baptist Church and Lutheran Chapel Church — clean the upper sections of the cemetery, which they own.
Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1072, China Grove NC 28023.
For more information about Green Lawn Cemetery go to http://sites. google.com/site /greenlawncemetery/home
To volunteer to help Saturday, call Thelma or Grey Corriher at 704-857-7559.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.