Brian Palmer is reporting that “Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe will announce his support for $400,000 of state money to preserve East End and Evergreen, historic—and abandoned—African American cemeteries in Richmond! Virginia Outdoors Foundation will use the $ to get easements to set aside the burial grounds as open space—in perpetuity.”
The $400,000 proposal for the 76 acres of Evergreen and East End Cemeteries is one of the Consent Preservation Trust Fund Public Access Projects on the agenda for the June 30 meeting of Virginia Outdoors Foundation (PDF):
VOF will make a grant from the PTF fund to acquire open space easements on both the Evergreen and East End cemetery properties. The easements will insure that the parcels remain as open space and historic resources for perpetuity and available for public access (under appropriate use rules). The grant funds include payment for purchase of perpetual easements from the landowners as well as transaction costs including, but not limited to, title search, title insurance, legal fees, appraisal, and survey or site work to establish legal descriptions.
Dedicated funds for restoration and maintenance work are included in the purchase price as the terms of the easement includes a duty of care clause and requirement to establish a maintenance fund. Each cemetery project may progress independently and they are not contingent on each other.
This grant is envisioned as a first step to insure permanent protection for the properties and enable restoration efforts to continue with funds and certainty. The second step could involve Henrico County or City of Richmond (Parks and Recreation or Public Works Department), Enrichmond Foundation, or Friends of Evergreen and East End becoming the fee owner and establishing a formal plan for care and use of these properties that respects the historic resources and benefits the community.