Local family wants city to clean up Memorial Cemetery | News

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Local family wants city to clean up Memorial Cemetery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Presha Family visits the graves of their loved ones at Memorial Cemetery, near Moncrief Road, and they're disgusted by its condition.


"It is terrible,it is terrible," said Evelyn Morris.

Morris' parents are buried in Memorial Cemetery; her father in 1958, her mother in 2003. It is one of the city's old African American cemeteries.

"It looks like somebody has sabotaged the graveyard," she said.

There are overturned headstones, caved in graves, garbage building up at one of the entrance, and a broken fence that was destroyed by a JSO police cruiser.

"A.L. Lewis is out there and some other prominent people out there," said Morris. "Just because it is a black cemetery they don't have to treat it like it is black."

The graveyard was under the care of the Memorial Cemetery Association, which is defunct. Several years ago the city assumed the role of maintenance.

"And they promise," she said. "but the promise is never kept."

Morris and her family have filed complaint after complaint with the city and she said each time they were promised something will be done.

"I talked to so many people who said they care and I said well you don't show me that you care," said Morris.

After the phone calls fail to generate a response her family began writing the public works director and their district councilman.

"The fence is a disaster," said Morris. "When are they going to fit it?"

Debbie Delgado spokesperson for public works said they city will fix the fence and address the concerns.

"The fence repair is going through the procurement process and should be fixed within a few weeks. As for the grounds, they are inspected and maintained on a regular basis and Mowing and Landscape Management staff were there this past Wednesday. Currently, there are tree limbs that are scheduled to be picked up next week, and the grounds were mowed in November (regular mowing takes place during the growing season of April-November). "

The family hopes that the city makes some improvement before the Holidays are over.


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