By Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Cemetery Committee plans to begin strictly enforcing the rules governing grave decorations in the historic cemetery.
Groveport City Councilman Shawn Cleary, who is also a member of the Cemetery Committee, said the rules have been in place for many years, but some people are not following them.
“We need everybody to abide by the rules,” said Cleary.
He said people have planted trees, placed hanging planters, have not followed the flower rules, and installed fencing around graves.
“This makes it difficult for us to maintain the cemetery properly, particularly when mowing the grass,” said Cleary. “I understand people wanting to decorate the graves, but it’s gotten out of hand.”
Cleary said the rules are posted at the cemetery gate. In addition, he said this summer some temporary signs listing the rules will be placed throughout the cemetery.
“We will give people plenty of time to meet the requirements,” said Cleary, who said the Cemetery Committee expects to begin fully enforcing the rules by late July or early August. “The cemetery is a sacred place and we want to keep it that way.”
Cleary said improvements will be made at the Groveport Cemetery and the Hendren Cemetery this summer.
“We plan to remove three large, dead trees in the older section of Groveport Cemetery,” said Cleary. “It’s important to remove the trees before they fall or drop branches and damage the old, historic headstones. The trees will be replaced in a year with Buckeye Maples. Time will bring the beauty back.”
Additionally, two damaged trees will be removed from the Hendren Cemetery.
Other work to be done at the Groveport Cemetery this summer includes: repaving and slightly widening the asphalt turnaround circle on the driveway at the west end of the cemetery; painting the fence; and working to remove broad leaf weeds from the grass.
“Repaving and widening the asphalt circle will help keep people from parking on the grass,” said Cleary.
Cleary said the popular historic cemetery tours of the Groveport Cemetery and Hendren Cemetery will return in late autumn. More details about the tours will be released later.
“There’s a lot of history there,” said Cleary of the two cemeteries.
The Groveport Cemetery was established in 1809. It is located on Wirt Road near Groveport’s Heritage Park.
The Hendren Cemetery, established in 1801, is located in Groveport on the west side of State Route 317, about a half mile north of Main Street/Groveport Road and about a quarter mile south of the railroad tracks. Its gravel driveway on State Route 317 is protected by a locked gate because of the cemetery’s isolated nature.