BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “They’ve let the grass go sometimes, but never to the extreme that this has been.”
Many people that have loved ones in the Riverdale Cemetery are upset with how their family’s plots are being mistreated.
Melanie Krajkowski has had her loved ones buried in the cemetery for nine years, and she says she’s never seen the grass this long before.
“To me, this is very sad.” said Krajkowski, “People, Families, when they’re gone, the respect and love for them doesn’t go away.”
During Memorial weekend, Krajkowski said her and her family came down to visit her family’s plot and saw that majority of the flags weren’t visible through the tall grass.
A few weeks later, Stephanie Turk, came down to visit her father’s plot for Father’s Day, and couldn’t find her father’s tombstone from the road. While they cleared her father’s stone, they noticed they were standing on someone else’s tomb.
“These are our people.” said Turk, “That we love and we want them to be treated right and we should demand that they should be treated right.”
The Cemetery’s Office Manager agrees. She says these conditions are due to a short-staffing issue since the beginning of the season.
“I understand everybody’s issues.” said Katherine Scott, “I have loved ones out here, I’m to be buried out here, and I’m the one that talks to everybody but I can only do what I can do as far as getting people who want to work. I can’t make people work and everywhere in Western New York you see help wanted signs.”
Scott works in the cemetery’s office and has been both answering the complaint calls and working late every night to help mow the 40 acres as they continue to seek the help they need.
“I am one person, and I am trying to do everything I can do for everybody because I do care about the people who do come here in the Cemetery,” said Scott, “People who talk to me do understand, but people who don’t talk to me, unfortunately, they see what they see, and I can’t blame them for being upset, but we are doing everything to get people.”
Riverdale Cemetery is a nonprofit cemetery that receives grants and donations. Many people are comparing the conditions to the one across the street, Gate of Heaven, which is a separate ran cemetery.
Riverdale Cemetery has been struggling to find help since the winter and is seeking workers and volunteers. Some people are starting to come out and lend a hand.
“You can’t just have one or two people here.” said Michael Shaner, owner of BCG Lawn and Snow Care who stopped by the cemetery Monday afternoon offering help, “This cemetery and every cemetery will probably take five or six people.”
Stephanie Turk says she hopes more people will come help the cemetery fix these problems.
“As a community, we have to help each other, if that’s what we say we are. We have to prove it.” said Turk, “By proving it, it is getting out here and helping her take care of everyone’s loved ones. These are all of our loved ones and I think the community needs to step up.”
Riverdale Cemetery is seeking volunteers and workers, for more information you can call (716) 285-4968, or visit the office at the Cemetery during their opened hours.