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Volunteers continue Crestview Cemetery revitalization

As greenery overgrows historic Crestview Cemetery, a group of volunteers continues to work to clean up the space.
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 11:48 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Nearly one month after family members brought up concerns about a Knoxville cemetery’s disrepair, a group of volunteers and churches were close to breathing life back into the historic space.

Crestview Cemetery in the West View neighborhood was nearing a make-over that could see $10,000 reinfused into the space.

”It’s been challenging, I think when I first got wind of it me and the guys who want to keep it up is that we lacked equipment,” said Denzel Grant a volunteer.

Grant, along with others, spearheads the revitalization of the nearly 150-year-old cemetery.

Crestview at its inception was the only cemetery in Knoxville where African-Americans could be buried.

With the help of Belmont Church and Rise 865, a ministry of Concord Church Farragut, donating $5,000 altogether, the space will receive funding to buy equipment to maintain the grounds year round.

”We do have this mantra of wanting to take care of things that are historic so I feel like the more we push to put that education the more community buy-in we will have long term to keep it maintained,” said Grant.

A GoFundMe is in place to raise the other $5,000 needed to complete the push.

”I just want the community to know that this is going to be a continuous effort and we appreciate any help that can be contributed to this goal and to this effort,” said Grant.

The cemetery is on private property, leading the City of Knoxville to not be able to touch the property, however, Grant said through communication with the city they will maintain the grounds for the foreseeable future until the group can raise the remaining funds.

”When I started this my goal and my little hashtag my guys and I kept to each other was no headstone left behind so that’s, we want to continue that goal and understand that when it comes to maintaining a cemetery it’s a continuous effort,” said Grant.

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