Cemetery left in shambles after being abandoned - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Cemetery left in shambles after being abandoned

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Ruben Pulliam Ruben Pulliam
Mona Hite Mona Hite
Supervised inmates from the Kentucky Department of Corrections are doing their community service and mowing the grounds. Supervised inmates from the Kentucky Department of Corrections are doing their community service and mowing the grounds.
Robert Lanning Robert Lanning

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Imagine having to take a weed whacker to find your loved one's headstone at a cemetery. That's what some had to do on Memorial Day when they went to visit family at a Louisville cemetery. 

Greenwood Cemetery, located near 41st Street and Hale Avenue in Louisville's west end, has been abandoned since the 1980s. The cemetery has also become a dumping grounds.

There is no real owner of the cemetery. Dismas Charities has offered up their services on some of the maintenance work. But, for anyone who comes out to the cemetery, finding their loved one is a challenge.

It was beyond heartbreaking for Mona Hite, when she came out to Greenwood Cemetery on Memorial Day to visit her mother.

"I was just devastated because I can't believe this can happen," said Hite. "We was young when she got sick but, we got together and got her a tombstone."

Her mother's tombstone is now hard to find. "You can't even see it," said Hite. "You can not even get to it."

Grass is waist high at the cemetery, headstones have become invisible.

"It looks like people don't care," said Hite. "It breaks my heart because it is my mother over there."

Gary Brown had to find his family with help of a lawn mower and weed whacker.

"See what you have to do to find people," said Brown.

So did Ruben Pulliam.

"We got black people buried here that helped build this city," said Pulliam. "We got veterans that buried here that fought for this country and this is what we think of it. "

"I'm sorry man, I'm sorry for anyone who has to go through this," said Brown.

The problem isn't just the high grass at the cemetery. The cemetery in the back has become a dumping grounds.

"Somebody got a 60 inch Samsung and came over here and dumped the trash," said Pulliam. "That is pitiful."

"If we didn't come out here this is how it would always look," said Robert Lanning from Dismas Charities. "I can understand people being upset and all. What they have to remember is years ago people that were paid money to take care of this walked away from their responsibility."

Supervised inmates from the Kentucky Department of Corrections are doing their community service and mowing the grounds.

But, it's going to take so much more.

"If you want to make this cemetery look like Cave Hill, than people in the community need to step up," said Lanning.

Dismas Charities said they are not able to lock the cemetery gate to stop the dumping, because there is no one to supervise it and let people in and out. The organization helps out with two other abandoned cemeteries here in town, Eastern and Schardein.

If you want to help with clean up call the West End Cemetery Association and ask for Wanda Hoosier (502) 594-2848. Hoosier is coordinating efforts with Dismas Charities.

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