POTTSTOWN PA – A community clean-up effort scheduled for Oct. 21 (Saturday) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Edgewood Historic Cemetery, 989 E. High St., is in need of volunteer help. Tools and gloves will be supplied to those who can donate their time, organizers said. Those who can bring weed-whackers, small mowers, and saws also are being sought.
One volunteer contingent, community service students attending The Hill School, recently worked at the cemetery to start cleaning its headstones (at top). They also joined Shona Levy, of Pottstown-based Hearts of Humanity Community Development Corp., to weed a pollinator garden members of her organization planted on the cemetery grounds (below).
Additionally, preparations have begun to reset sunken and toppled gravestones at the cemetery’s plots for the Rowland family, the Eppenhiemers, and Joanna Hertzel Saylor. The “heavy lifting” for that work, according to cemetery representatives, is being provided by Pottstown Burial Vault (at left). Existing monuments were temporarily moved so new foundations could be poured before the bases and stones are reinstalled.
Headstones of many plots across the cemetery are said to be toppling and sinking. The causes: “the natural passage of time, early and less stable burial methods, and the cemetery’s serious groundhog-related destruction problem,” representatives explained.
Edgewood is addressing the animal issue “and the dangerous holes they have created,” they said. The cemetery is using a company that professionally and humanely traps, then re-homes, the groundhogs.
Costs of the projects are being covered by Edgewood’s “Adopt-a-Gravestone” program. Individuals who would like to help with Adopt-a-Gravestone may contact Kelly Fenstermacher by phone or text message to 610-506-7033, or donate directly online.