Blighted cemetery cleared by volunteers - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Blighted cemetery cleared by volunteers

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SOUTH MEMPHIS -

(WMC-TV) – This summer, we told you about complaints we got from viewers about the conditions at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

What a difference a little sweat and effort make.

Just weeks ago, Mt. Carmel was engulfed by trees and overgrowth.

The cemetery looks much different today.

"It's really been a labor of love," said Alice Waller organized the effort to cleanup Mt. Carmel.  She started the flame that burned into a fire of passion for many volunteers to clean up the landmark.

"We saw the initiative on TV about this situation, about blight in the cemetery," said Edwin Dorsey of Grace Superior Cleaning.  "So we took an effort upon ourselves to take over blight and volunteer our services."

"We said someone should do something about it we looked at each other and said why not us," explained Nick Threlkeld with Kut Above Lawn Service

Friends Dorsey and Threlkeld teamed up and sent out countless e-mails to city and county leaders as well as volunteers.

They received an outpouring of support.

"What started as a monumental effort has become more of a manageable task," Threlkeld said.

Carolyn Trimble, a graduate student at the University of Memphis, restores old graves and cemeteries.  She likes to preserve the historic value in them.

"I think that protecting human burials is a right that everybody has.  Besides that, we have Tom Lee here, other famous people here," Trimble stated.

"It was about making this an actual resting place so families could come out and see their loved ones," said Waller.

These volunteers and organizers hope the City of Memphis will step in and remove the debris collected during today's big cleanup.

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