LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – How would you feel if your family member or friend’s grave was being neglected or disrespected? Well that’s what some local residents are saying is happening at Lansing’s Evergreen Cemetery.
Mold, weeds, chipped and moved tombstones. These are just some of the things 6 News noticed when I visited Evergreen Cemetery Friday. And residents say they have a reason to be upset because they’ve put their trust in the city of Lansing to protect and honor their loved ones.
“It’s time to do something. It’s just getting worse and worse,” said former Lansing resident Carolyn Waltz.
Waltz, has generations of family buried here at Evergreen Cemetery. That includes her late grandfather who Waltz says was a highly influential businessman in the early 1900s. But now she claims he isn’t getting the respect he deserves.
“I feel like it’s kinda a slap in the face. He did a lot for Lansing and Lansing is not taking care of him now,” said Waltz.
Waltz tells 6 News she and her mother reached out to the cemetery office asking for help. But instead they were turned away.
“They said ‘well there’s so much to mow and we just, it just takes too much time.’ Well that’s your job,” said Waltz.
And she isn’t the only resident upset. Nearly 100 others responded to a Facebook post on the ‘I Grew Up in Lansing’ page saying the neglect and disrespect at Evergreen has been happening for years.
Connie Tubbs says, “It is terrible there. I had to dig half of my beloved baby’s headstone out from the ground. Half of it was buried and over grown. It is a disgrace the way they let it go. Not happy.”
Marian Korroch agrees saying, “This all is so interesting to me. Nothing is different this year. Evergreen’s been poorly kept for years and years. Nice to see some concern, finally!”
Bur Brett Kaschinske, with the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department says the city takes great pride in maintaining the cemetery.
“It’s a large infrastructure. When you consider the graves, the trees, the lawn, the pavement, there’s a lot to maintain at the cemeteries and I feel we do a good job at it,” said Kaschinske.
The parks director says the number of complaints this year at Evergreen Cemetery are actually down over previous years.
Kaschinske also said that if residents have any issues with the cemetery they should file their complaints with the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department.