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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Massachusetts

Friends of Burial Hill

Friends of Burial Hill was founded in 2010 to help preserve one of the country's earliest English colonial burying grounds. Located at the site of the original settlement established by the Mayflower passengers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the land became the community's principal burial ground. The earliest extant grave marker is dated 1681. Mayflower passengers, Revolutionary leaders, and more than 140 veterans from four wars are among the notable people interred at Burial Hill.

The Town of Plymouth owns the cemetery and has had limited resources to commit toward its upkeep. The Friends of Burial Hill was formed to help remedy this situation and reverse deferred maintenance through fundraising and volunteer engagement. The cornerstone of the organization's efforts is its series of gravestone conservation workshops, where volunteers survey and clean grave markers, locate missing stones, and collect and preserve stone fragments. Plymouth fifth grade classes attend special workshops to help foster a sense of respect and ownership in the cemetery, and encourage future conservancy and stewardship.

Volunteers act as docents, leading tours and assisting visitors in locating specific stones. Volunteers lecture locally on Burial Hill and various topics relative to historic cemeteries to raise public awareness. Other volunteer activities include with grounds maintenance, removing litter and graffiti, and monitoring the cemetery to help discourage vandalism and other problems.

For more information: Friends of Burial Hill

Updated September 23, 2016

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