Fall 2019: Site restoration to begin
2019: Master restoration plan to be finalized
October 2018: Community conversations held
The advisory team and Enrichmond are facilitating a series of nine Community Conversations, to connect with–and learn from–as many Evergreen families and stakeholders as possible
2018: Advisory team forms to lead restoration effort
The team comprises descendant family members, as well as representatives from local institutions, including: the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, Elegba Folklore Society, the African American Historical and Genealogical Society, and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.
2017: Enrichmond Foundation purchases the property and begins restoration planning and enhanced clean-up efforts
In May 2017, the Enrichmond Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting grassroots efforts to preserve and create equal access to the city’s public spaces, purchased Evergreen–committing itself to facilitating the restoration of the long-neglected sacred site.
1999: Renewed volunteer efforts begin clearing vegetation
Through the heroic efforts of several National Park Service staff, Virginia Roots, and finally Friends of Evergreen, coordinated volunteer efforts were undertaken over the past 20 years to clear large sections of Evergreen’s overgrowth.
1970s – 1990s: Families navigated undergrowth to honor loved ones
Over the years, many families made it a priority to regularly mow and clear pathways to family gravesites.
1970s-1990s: Evergreen repeatedly sold and becomes largely overgrown
According to oral history, the cemetery already had fallen on hard times by the 1960s. By 1970, Evergreen’s future was uncertain. It changed hands several times, and entire sections had become overgrown.
Early 1900s: Sections, plots, and roads established
By the time Maggie L. Walker was buried at Evergreen in 1934, an elaborate and elegant network of paths and roadways led families and other visitors throughout the 60-acre cemetery.
1891: Evergreen Cemetery established
Evergreen Cemetery was founded by leaders in Richmond’s African American community who lived, worked, worshipped, and raised families in this neighborhood. Unfortunately, there was no provision made for perpetual care of the cemetery and, without an endowment to help maintain the grounds, upkeep proved increasingly challenging.