Historic cemeteries along the Blue Ridge Parkway record decades of Appalachian life.
Most recently, FRIENDS has added our ‘Adopt-a-Cemetery’ project in response to a National Park Service (NPS) request for assistance with maintaining the more than 70 historic cemeteries located within the Parkway boundaries.
This is a truly exciting project that has begun with identifying cemetery boundaries, cleaning and maintenance but will expand to include grave marker data collection for the Blue Ridge (BLRI) Cemetery Database, locating birth/death/marriage records in the local county courthouse and an effort to locate heirs that might be interested in maintaining the grave sites. This is fascinating work for new or dedicated genealogy enthusiasts especially.
The NPS will certify any groups or individuals that adopt a cemetery, allowing them to do weed eating and tree trimming.
Found your cemetery? then there are a few details to take care of. You’ll need to complete and submit some forms, await approval from the National Park Service and FRIENDS, and if approved, take some training from other FRIENDS volunteers.
We’ve outlined the entire procedure for you below.