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Volunteers needed to help clean up historic Omaha cemetery

Posted at 12:50 PM, Sep 06, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Imagine paying more than $1,000 to have your yard mowed. That's the cost for one Omaha cemetery, and because of that, it can be tough to keep everything maintained.

That's why those with Prospect Hill are asking for help.

It's tough to find someone who cares more about Prospect Hill Cemetery than Shannon Lewis.

"How sad is it to think of Prospect Hill Cemetery no longer existing? It breaks my heart. I would come back from the dead and save this cemetery," said Lewis.

It's a cemetery where Levi Carter and some of the Buffett family are buried.

"There's so much of the city’s history that literally lives here," said Lewis.

But Prospect Hill is an inactive cemetery, meaning burials are a thing of the past.

"They no longer sell plots, so they no longer have any money coming in," said Lewis.

All of their finances come from community donations, and maintaining the cemetery is pretty expensive.

"It costs $1,200 to mow this cemetery one time," said Lewis.

So you might imagine there have been times where weeds and plants overtook the cemetery.

"There just weren't enough people to maintain the cemetery, and the foliage just took off, and it overtook the cemetery, and they couldn't keep up with it," said Lewis.

But it's an issue they're still dealing with today. Some sections could use some much-needed cleanup.

"Prospect Hill does have a major need for volunteers to come help bring this historic cemetery back to a place where it can be maintained more easily," said Lewis.

Without those volunteers working to clean this place up and the donations to help finance it, who knows what the future holds for this significant piece of Omaha history.

"Some circumstances, a grave marker is literally the only documentation that a person ever existed, and to lose that would be devastating,” said Lewis.

For more information on how to volunteer, visit this website.