Tall Grass, No Landscaping Makes Graves Hard to Find at Local Cemetery
Temple's 132-year-old cemetery known as Hillcrest Cemetery is home to about 16,000 graves where local loved ones can pay their respects. However, the recent rains over spring and summer have made it incredibly difficult for visitors to traverse the property, let alone find the headstone they are looking for.
KWTX News reports many have complained about the 3-to-4 foot high grass, makes it hard to find their grave, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and could also be hiding places for snakes.
The nonprofit Temple Cemetery Company Association runs the 70-acre plot of land and they are aware of the landscaping issues. The problem is they don't have the funding to fix the situation.
Association President Brenda Colley told KWTX:
I don't think people really realize what it takes to run a cemetery.
She understands why families are getting upset because they can't find their loved one's plot of land.
We do sympathize with them and I understand i would not be happy myself but we do try to get that fixed.
The only revenue the association gets for care of the land is through donations and the sales of plots of land. It's not very much, especially when you're paying for maintenance all year round. The City of Temple has provided some support for the landmark cemetery.
Assistant City Manager Brynn Myers did tell KWTX, "The last several years we provided a $35,000 grant through our community enhancement program."
A member of a Temple family said they had to use their own lawnmower to clear the grave they came to visit.