LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — The community came out with lawn mowers and weed whackers in hand after hearing Riverdale Cemetery needed help.
Earlier this week, News 4 responded to concerns from people who had loved ones buried in the cemetery, and spoke to Riverdale office manager, Katherine Scott, on why the grass has grown into weeds.
The overgrown conditions of the cemetery is due to having trouble finding people to work for them.
Since then, Scott has received tons of calls from veterans, companies, and neighbors who want to help.
“It makes me feel good that somebody actually did something postive.” said Scott, “I am so grateful for them because once we get all the weed taken care of, which they are almost taken care of, then we can maintain with the guys we have.”
Since we last spoke, Scott has hired three seasonal and two full time workers, giving her more staff than she usually hires for the summer but she says, she will always have duties for people to do if they want to volunteer.
About a dozen volunteers donated their time on Saturday morning, and more are expected to come back next weekend. The Town of Lewiston arranged community service workers to assist next weekend, and the companies that came out today say they will be back until the job gets done.
“We’re trying to do everything we can.” said Michael Shaner, the owner of BCG Lawn and Snow removal, just one of the companies who helped Saturday. “It’s a big cemetery for a little bit of people.”
But it wasn’t just neighbors who came out to help. Landscaping services were provided by companies like Patriot’s Landscaping and high school kids gained community service hours by helping out.
“It feels great to help somebody out because I know if when I’m buried or anything, I’d want my grave to look good.” said Matthew Mayes, who is in eleventh grade at Niagara Falls High School, “It’s nice to help other people out.”
The cemetery says after Saturday morning, 89 percent of the cemetery is now cleaned up, but there is still work that needs to be done. They expect it to take another few weeks to fully catch up.
“I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart I really do because it does make a difference,” said Stephanie Turk, whose father is buried at Riverdale, she says she appreciates the volunteers and the hard work they put in, but she hopes this clean up effort will last and keep the cemetery well maintained.
“Everyone’s trying to get back on track, and that’s what the community is here for.” said Turk, “But once you’re back on track, we expect you to stay on that course. We are going to be keeping up with it.”
The cemetery expects it will take a few more weeks to get fully caught up, but are happy people want to help be apart of finding the solution of their staffing problem.