Volunteers ask for help as Mt. Holly Cemetery falls into disrepair

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Residents in one Burlington County community are taking to the internet, to rally for repairs at a local cemetery. (WPVI)

Residents in one Burlington County community are taking to the internet to rally for repairs at a local cemetery.

There are 16,000 graves at the Mt. Holly Cemetery off Ridgeway Road - some dating back to the 1800s. And whether it's because of age, vandalism or groundhogs destabilizing the grave markers, dozens of tombstones are toppled, broken and in need of repair.

Robin Doyle of Mt. Holly says, "It's heartbreaking to see just everything vandalized and just nature taking its course. It just needs to be repaired, that's all, and we're all willing to help."

Calling themselves The Friends of Mt. Holly Cemetery, a small group of locals has started a Facebook page and are looking for a way to help improve conditions here.

Ned Monroe says, "There's grants you can get, there's people who'd be willing to donate. So we're kind of looking to help restore this. We just want to go about it in the proper way."

Cari McCay-Diaz explains, "What we're looking to do is to get permission to get community volunteers to come and help maintain. Not a one-shot deal - they want to come monthly."

Cemetery officials say they're not ignoring the situation, but they don't have the money or the manpower it would take to fix all this immediately.

Jimmy Johnson, the head of the cemetery's board of directors, says residents could raise money to help pay for contractors to fix the damaged and fallen headstones, but unless volunteers had their own insurance there would be a liability issue having them work on the property.

Like many in the area, Patty Conover has generations of relatives buried here, and she wants the old part of Mt. Holly Cemetery maintained as well as the newer section.

Conover says, "Just clean it up, make it look more presentable for people who come and see their loved ones."
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