Volunteers spend Fourth of July cleaning up one of Richmond’s historic graveyards

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly 30 volunteers gathered at Woodland Cemetery this Fourth of July to work in honor of Reverend John Jasper’s birthday.

Jasper was a former slave who became a prominent preacher in Virginia and helped found the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. He and Arthur Ashe are two of many notable African Americans buried in Woodland, which is the final resting place of more than 30,000 people.

The Woodland Cemetery Volunteers said they mowed the grass, cut away brush and small trees, uncovered gravestones, and picked up trash around the cemetery.

The group said they started working on preserving the graveyard in Dec. of 2018 and now meet regularly to restore the beauty of the historic graveyard. They are currently trying to raise $50,000 to help bring Woodland back to its “glory days.” 

The volunteers are accepting donations through GoFundMe.

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