Grave Affair: Inaugural Cemetery Cleanup Day Seeking NY Volunteers

If you enjoy a quiet working environment and don’t mind rubbing elbows with a few ghosts, this could be the opportunity for you.

Cemetery headstones

Cemetery headstones

Photo Credit: NYS Department of State

The New York State Department of State is looking for volunteers to take part in the first annual “Caring for Your Cemetery Day,” on Saturday, April 27.

Organizers said the idea is to raise awareness of the hard work and dedication that goes into caring for and preserving cemeteries, especially heading into the spring season.

The department is also hoping to gin up more interest in cemeteries among younger people and recruit future volunteers or even officers and trustees/directors.

Participants in the inaugural “Caring for Your Cemetery Day” can expect to handle a variety of tasks like cleaning up trash, removing downed branches and weeds, and clearing out old seasonal decorations. Volunteers will also help plant flowers, scatter grass seed, and perform other light duties.

“Our goal is to teach a new generation of New Yorkers about the importance of our communities’ cemeteries,” said Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez. 

“If you want a creative way to get involved in your community, try volunteering at your local cemetery and help future generations learn to appreciate the history, culture, and unique stories our cemeteries offer.”

The Department of State’s Division of Cemeteries regulates nearly 1,700 not-for-profit cemeteries across the state.

Cemeteries participating in the volunteer event include:

  • Albany County – Onesquethaw Union Cemetery in Feura Bush
  • Dutchess County – Milan Union Cemetery in Milan
  • Orange County – Rossville Cemetery in Newburgh

The complete list of participating cemeteries can be found on the NYS Department of State website

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