Woodland Cemetery open house

These are exciting days for Woodland Cemetery. Descendants and volunteers there have transformed the site under the leadership of the Woodland Restoration Foundation, with bigger plans to come. They invite the public to celebrate with them and learn more at a family-friendly open house to be held at the cemetery on Saturday, May 20, starting at 11:00am. After a short program, there will be:

· guided tours

· videotaping of family members’ stories

· demonstrations of interactive maps made by local students to locate lost graves

· demonstrations of probes for lost headstones

· food trucks

· music

As stated by the Woodland Restoration Foundation, “Come celebrate the past, the present, and the future of this historic site,” where so many builders of Richmond rest.

Marvin Harris, director of the Woodland Restoration Foundation, observes that “The event will highlight the work of the Woodland Cemetery Volunteers and many other volunteers who have worked diligently and steadfastly to return the cemetery to its intended purpose as a respectful resting place for the African American community of the Richmond metropolitan area. Words on paper cannot adequately express the transformation that has occurred there.”

He also offers us a charge: “Involvement from state and local government agencies, public and private schools, businesses, private citizens, and descendants have worked to bring Woodland to this level. We need to have continued investment from all these groups to uncover and keep the graves clear and move forward to repair the roads for safe and continued access.”

What a great opportunity for the public to learn more about this initiative, just before Memorial Day.

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