Evergreen and East End Cemeteries
Published on March 15th, 2021 by The Enrichmond Foundation
The Enrichmond Foundation is aware of the false claims regarding our restoration process and progress at Evergreen and East End cemeteries and a petition to halt our funding efforts.
First and foremost, we are following all expert guidelines for a project of this significance. Secondly, Enrichmond has never planned to transform or build a recreation park at Evergreen and East End cemeteries. These are baseless claims and completely false. Both Evergreen and East End cemeteries are protected under a conservation easement – a voluntary agreement that Enrichmond entered into to ensure the properties will always be cemeteries and nothing else. We are following all conservation easement requirements which provide strict controls with regard to use of the properties and the protection of all historical assets, i.e., every burial site.
The community-led descendent developed plan has always been to bring Evergreen and East End cemeteries back to their former glory and intended purpose per their founders – “A memorial park fit for royalty.” Our hope is that people will visit both historic burial grounds and experience the stories of those interred there. There have been discussions between Enrichmond, the City of Richmond, and the state to create a spur off the Capitol Trail at the cemeteries. This does not mean that we are creating a bike path through the cemeteries, but instead a stopping point for Capitol Trail users to experience the cemeteries and learn about the history of these burial grounds.
Although the preservation plans were significantly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we received a draft preservation plan from Howard Wellman Conservation, LLC, a renowned preservationist, in January 2021. Following our review, per our plan since acquiring the cemeteries, we will share for public review and open a public comment period for all descendent family members and the community.
Throughout Enrichmond’s stewardship, we have followed all professional best practices and state protocols, processes and guidelines for Evergreen and East End cemeteries. Currently, Enrichmond has an existing conditions study, Master Plan and drafted preservation plans. Over the past four years, we have worked diligently to consult with experts, regulatory authorities, descendant family members and the community to produce the appropriate bundle of plans for these sacred places. The final plan for the bundle includes the Interpretive Plan/Cultural Anthropology. We hope to start this effort in the fall of 2021.
We appreciate our volunteers and those who have supported Enrichmond along the way. We are committed, heart and soul, to protecting, preserving and celebrating these sacred places and returning them to their original glory.