If you have loved ones in a Richmond County cemetery, you may have to look out for the plot yourself. News 12 is on your side with the condition of the cemeteries and what this means for your loved ones.
West View Cemetery is in bad shape. Many headstones sit in between grass and weeds. Some are almost completely covered. Richmond County resident Peter Hughes says the only way to keep up the cemeteries is to get involved.
“If there’s community support and people take an interest, they will continue,” Hughes said.
Richmond County keeps seven cemeteries, including West View. They only have eight workers to keep them up. Because of a budget freeze, you may have to take care of your loved one’s plot yourself.
Another problem is the summer weather. The rain and the temperature make it difficult to get out there.
A private cemetery is the burial site for several prominent families in Augusta.
“These people helped form what we know as Augusta, and those influences carry forward today,” said the team leader of the volunteers.
The Colemans, Leighs, and Warrens were heavily involved in the Augusta government. They also owned property on the Augusta National Golf Club, 1848 Granite Mill and the Augusta Canal, to name a few.
Derek Vanover from Trees and Landscaping says volunteers are coming out to help get this cemetery back in better condition. Right now, the headstones are cracked, knocked over, and the site is in disrepair.
“No one wants to go here, it’s frequently overgrown and it’s the sort of place you’d rather not go,” Vanover said.
Volunteering is what many families will have to do for now. Prisoners come out about once a month, but for the time being there are not enough resources to keep up all of the county’s cemeteries.
Richmond County says they are in the process of hiring more workers. Until then, they say that churches and volunteers are always welcome to help out