Green Hill Cemetery Addresses Concerns Over Groundskeeping
SAPULPA, Oklahoma - A Green Country Family says they are frustrated with the grounds crew at a Sapulpa cemetery.
They say some items were removed from a grave site and others were run over with a lawnmower. The family says they've had loved ones buried here at Green Hill for more than 18 years and they just recently started having problems.
They say they don't mind that the grounds crew moves the items to mow the grass, but they just wish they would put them back where they belong.
"I just think how would they feel if we did this to their loved ones graves," said Shiloh Hollan.
Shiloh Hollan says lately it's been difficult for her and her mother to find her grandmother and grandfather's headstones because of all the mud.
"I actually thought someone had taken the headstone,” said DeeJay Hollan. “I didn’t see it there at all."
DeeJay says she can't even get out to see her parent's headstones because the ground is too soft.
“I get this far. This is as far as I can go,” said DeeJay.
Shiloh says she comes out to visit the grave sites about once a week. She says the headstones used to have decorations, but they have since been moved to another person's grave site.
"This one goes on grandpa’s,” said Shiloh. “This one hadn't been moved in 18 years."
And they say some have even been damaged.
"This was grandma’s flower vase since she didn’t have one,” said Shiloh. “I believe they hit it with a lawnmower."
Green Hill Memorial Gardens Owner, Tom Dugan, says the headstones aren't supposed to have decorations on them, but because everyone goes through the grieving process differently, they try to be lenient.
"It’s something that’s very individual as much as you are different than I am," said Tom Dugan.
Dugan says because it's been a wet winter, they have had some issues with mud while bringing heavy machinery through to do burials.
“I understand they want it fixed now and I understand everyone’s grief but practicalities are sometimes you can’t get equipment in when it’s just going to sink in the mud again,” said Dugan.
Dugan says this is something they struggle with every winter, but by Memorial Day it’s usually cleared up.
The family says they know that other burials need to continue, they just wish they would be more careful around the existing grave sites.
"I understand they have to bury people but they don’t have to leave other people's like this,” said Shiloh.
Dugan says the family reached out to him a few weeks ago and he responded to their concerns. He says he also plans to talk with the Grounds Crew later this week to ask them to be more careful around the gravesites.