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October 30, 2011 - Cemetery Clean-Up & News Update

October 30, 2011 - Cemetery Clean-Up & News Update

A cemetery clean-up is scheduled for Sunday, October 30th, between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM. The clean-up will consist of litter removal from the main path leading to the cemetery and the cemetery itself. All necessary gloves and garbage bags will be provided courtesy of the Forest Preserve District.

We apologize for the cancellation of the last event. At 9:15 AM weather conditions had changed and the status of the Feedback line was updated about an hour later once Internet access to its settings was possible. We are still experiencing mass text messaging errors through our current service provider otherwise a message would have been attempted to save volunteers the trouble of coming out. Please make note of the Feedback line number on the main page of the website and save it in your phone for future reference.

Earlier this month a letter requesting cemetery maintenance was sent to the Real Estate Management Office of Cook County on behalf of volunteers and family members of those buried at the cemetery. The request was in regard to consideration for temporary maintenance of the cemetery by S.W.A.P. for 2011. As stated in the past, the cemetery is not owned by the Forest Preserve District. During 2009 a land survey and other legal paperwork had been prepared in order to transfer the property over to the Forest Preserve District. Due to time constraints and changes in leadership within the Cook County government at that time, various properties were not able to be approved, or denied.

A meeting has been scheduled this month with Cook County Commissioner Joan Murphy in order to discuss the transfer and other related matters concerning the cemetery and its surrounding area. As always, we will keep you updated as to the results of the approval process. For the moment, all Temporary Use Permits that used to allow the Grove Restoration Project to perform proper maintenance within the cemetery are still frozen due to liability reasons. This is caused in part by the use of power tools necessary to maintain the area. If and when the property is transferred, volunteers that have obtained their Power Equipment Operator certification through the Forest Preserve District may assist in the use of power tools.

If you are a volunteer and still wish to obtain your Power Equipment Operator certification please make sure to respond as soon as possible to any notices you receive about upcoming classes. Upon your certification, you will also receive a photo I.D. which in essence makes you an official Steward for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The classes are short, educational, and very rewarding but seating is limited each year.

We hope to perform additional restoration activities this year, specifically on the west end of the cemetery between the fence and creek, as well as portions of the main trail leading to the cemetery. As part of the approval process, Resource Ecologist Daniel Spencer performed a visit earlier this year to evaluate additional areas of interest and we are expecting feedback by November. Joe Swano of Volunteer Resources for the Forest Preserve District was also available during the evaluation and has done an excellent job in responding to the needs of the area.

Stay tuned and see you all on the 30th!