Newsletter

African American Cemetery and Graves Fund Updates

Published

First Baptist Church Cemetery Waverly VA

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 joanna.wilson@dhr.virginia.gov 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

and Arboretum

 

Riverview Cemetery                       Shenandoah County        Mt. Zion United Methodist           53

Church

 

Woodland Cemetery                      Henrico County                Woodland Restoration                  6,300

Foundation

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