African American Cemetery and Graves Fund Updates
During its 2022 session, the General Assembly amended Virginia Code §10.1-2211.2 to significantly extend the period of eligibility for historic African American cemeteries awarded monies under the fund. As of July 1, 2022, any cemetery established prior to January 1, 1948 for the purpose of interment of African Americans, and any grave of an individual interred prior to January 1, 1948, will be eligible for a grant. Funds will be disbursed at a rate of $5 for every eligible grave, and can be used for vegetation management, headstone cleaning and repair, installation of replacement markers, or preparation of a cemetery management plan. The application form, program manual, and related documents are available at https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/grants. The application should include information that will allow DHR to confirm the number of eligible graves present. Headstone transcriptions, interment records, funeral home records, or other documentation is acceptable. If the cemetery is not documented in DHR’s permanent archive, arrangements must be made with DHR staff to visit and document the resource in order to complete the grant review process.
In addition to the per-grave grant, an individual, charitable organization, or locality that receives such a grant will also be eligible to apply for funds for extraordinary maintenance projects. Any grant recipient intending to apply for these funds should contact DHR to confirm that the proposed project meets funding requirements, and provide a budget breakdown for review.
The application deadline for FY2022-2023 is May 30, 2023, but owners, caretakers, and localities may apply at any time between now and then. Please contact Joanna Wilson Green, DHR’s Cemetery Archaeologist, at email@example.com with questions or to follow up on previously submitted applications.
FY2022-2023 Applicants (as of 8/5):
NAME LOCATION APPLICANT # GRAVES
Fairview Cemetery City of Staunton Shenandoah Valley 973
Black Heritage Project
Macedonia Colored Disciples Southampton Co Great Commission Outreach 16
Church Cemetery Baptist Church
Mt. Morris Community Fauquier Co Mt. Morris Community 192
Cemetery Cemetery Trustees
Mt. Olivet Cemetery City of Richmond City of Richmond 4,534
Old City Cemetery City of Lynchburg Old City Cemetery, Museums, 4,104
Riverview Cemetery Shenandoah County Mt. Zion United Methodist 53
Woodland Cemetery Henrico County Woodland Restoration 6,300