Cemetery not as bad as reported | AspenTimes.com

Cemetery not as bad as reported

Dear Editor:

While we look forward to partnering with the city of Aspen to pursue funding and grants to document and restore headstones at the Aspen Grove Cemetery, we must wholeheartedly disagree with your reporter’s characterization of Aspen Grove as a cemetery that has been neglected or in a state of disrepair and advanced deterioration. The intent of the board of the Aspen Grove Cemetery Association has always been to maintain the site in its natural state with tall grasses, native vegetation of oregon grape and serviceberry set in a grove of aspen trees.

It has only been our intent to water the property as necessary during dry spells, remove noxious weeds, perform periodic clearing of brush and overgrowth, remove fallen trees or those that pose a hazard, clean grave markers, perform path restoration and to plant bulbs and wildflowers. All of this has been accomplished primarily with private funding and contributions with the exception of one small grant from the city of Aspen. There is certainly not extreme damage to grave markers other than what might normally be expected to occur over 119 years of history. We are interested in securing funding for fence repair and have performed much of this work with volunteer labor.

It is certainly not the intent of the Aspen Grove Cemetery Association to change the character of the site or to participate in any plans to publicize this community asset. While we share the interest in preserving and documenting the site for future generations, we have no intention of making any changes to the site that would do anything to change the very special nature of this place.

Jim Markalunas

For the Aspen Grove Cemetery Association

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