HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Volunteers gathered at Woodland Cemetery in eastern Henrico to continue the effort to restore the historic cemetery.

The Woodland Restoration Foundation purchased the cemetery in 2020 and have made significant progress restoring the property that went neglected for several years. In just two years, acres of overgrown plants have been cleared and thousands of graves have been made accessible.

Joining the foundation today was a large group of volunteers, including Ismaili CIVIC, an international volunteer organization made up of Shia Ismaili Muslims. The volunteers pulled weeds, cleaned headstones and restore grave markers.

Marvin Harris, the executive director of the Woodland Restoration Foundation, says it’s important to make the property a place where the families of the people buried there want to visit and pay their respects.

Woodland Cemetery, which opened in 1917 for the internment of Black Richmond-area residents during the Jim Crow era, now has around 30,000 gravesites, including legendary tennis player and Richmond native Arthur Ashe.