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Riverdale Cemetery in Lewiston overgrown with weeds, families complain about maintenance neglect

Riverdale's Cemetery manager blames hiring trouble and equipment damage as cause for delays.
Posted at 5:19 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 17:19:55-04

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — When you walk into Riverdale Cemetary in Lewiston, you can't miss the weeds.

"It's absurd. I don't believe the neglect. It breaks my heart," said Debra Sahr, whose entire family is buried at the Lewiston facility.

Multiple areas of the cemetery are so overgrown, its challenging to even see specific graves and headstones.

"I couldn't find my mother, my family. That's when I broke down. This is so sad," said Sahr.

When 7 News arrived at the Cemetery on Friday morning, there were lawnmowers and landscapers hard at work.

"We know there's a problem, and we have to do all we can to fix it," said Kathleen Scott, the Cemetary manager.

About half of the cemetery was cleared of shrub and brush, with work being done on the areas with the most over-growth.

"We had a ton of trouble hiring this year... it was the worst I've ever seen. That plus we lost two of our mowers. It was really tough to be behind, but we are working as quickly as we can," said Scott.

In order to combat the short staffing and delays, The Riverdale Cemetery is hosting about 15-20 volunteers to help clear grave sites tomorrow, Saturday June 25th.

They plan to be back to full maintenance by the end of the month.