MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Heavy equipment, weed eaters and tractors were cleaning off grave sites Wednesday that were unrecognizable just a week ago.
A WREG investigation showed how the overgrown weeds and grass covering several Memphis cemeteries left families frustrated and wanting help. That story led to action for the families.
The Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission each allocated $15,000 dollars to clean up five cemeteries.
Paradise Lawn Care is clearing Hollywood Cemetery after getting a call from the Office of Public Works to do the job.
“When we saw it we were like wow, how did they let the cemetery get out of place? Get so bad, out of shape,” said Gana Seck with Paradise Lawn Care. “You got to be mindful, respectful. It is a spiritual place.”
Seck had seen some headstones as old as the early 1800s.
The work is painstaking, trying to clean without running over graves that are hidden in the brush.
Dynamic Landscaping started on Mt, Carmel Cemetery on Saturday and has made a lot of headway.
“It’s a pretty big job,” said Anthony Campbell with Dynamic Landscaping. “Eighteen, 19 acres.Overgrown.”
They are also clearing out Rose Hill Cemetery.
WREG investigators began questioning why the cemeteries had not been cleared when the City Council and the Shelby County Commission allocated money last year.
Suddenly, the city and county mayor’s offices, who initially told us it wasn’t their job, decided they would work together to get the abandoned cemeteries cleaned.
The cemeteries are expected to be cleaned up by Sunday, Mother’s Day, so people can visit the graves of their loved ones.