CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The East Cleveland Township Cemetery is approximately 12 acres of land situated in University Circle on East 118th Street. The cemetery is rich in local pioneer history but has also turned into an urban park since the Foundation took control 7 years ago.
The efforts to revitalize this once abandoned area has been a grass roots effort by the Foundation which is lead by local leaders Allen H. Ford (Chairman) and Bracy E. Lewis (President). The day to day operations are lead by Nancy L. Adams (Vice President & Secretary) and J. Wayne Rhine (Trustee). The Foundation was honored in May, 2010 by the Cleveland Restoration Society and AIA-Cleveland with its 2010 Cultural Resource Preservation Award.
In February, 2010 the Foundation began a capital campaign to raise nearly $80,000 for its trees. Due to the nearly 50 years of neglect and the size of the 187 trees had made it impossible for the Foundation to perform all the necessary pruning and removal of decayed trees. The first foundation to acknowledge this worthwhile project was The Kent H. Smith Charitable Foundation that awarded the Foundation a challenge grant in March. It in turn was followed by The Abington Foundation, Ardmore Tree Service, The John G. Michalko Parklands Fund, The George Gund Foundation, The Sherwick Fund, and The Garden Club of Cleveland.
Ardmore Tree Service, which has supported the Foundation for the past five years completed the tree inventory and will perform the necessary work with a completion date December 31, 2010.
The generosity of all the organizations that are supporting this project will benefit many in the area who have been coming to the cemetery to visit their ancestors and those that utilize the grounds as an urban park.
Many days you will see students from Case Western Reserve University relaxing and having lunch, students working on photography projects, families are riding their bicycles, and others jogging around the interior gravel road.
The tree project is the last major project the Foundation needed to complete in the overall restoration and revitalization of the cemetery and grounds. The Foundation will continue to focus on additional enhancements and on-going maintenance of this 150 year old Cleveland landmark.