Lone Fir Cemetery Cultural Heritage Garden Will Honor History

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In 2011, National Geographic included Lone Fir as one of the top ten cemeteries in the world to visit. While Lone Fir is a jewel in the heart of the Buckman neighborhood, one part of the cemetery is strewn with gravel, old concrete, broken glass and weeds. This seemingly forgotten corner of the cemetery has a rich past and story to tell. Members of the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation Board presented at the October 9th Buckman Community Association meeting and gave an update on efforts to develop the southwest corner of the cemetery at SE 20th and SE Morrison, known as Block 14, and to tell the stories buried there.

Lone Fir Cemetary Block 14

Block 14 is in the southwest corner of Lone Fir Cemetery. The Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation seeks to take this blank slate and aesthetically reunite it with the rest of Lone Fir to create a new, visible entrance to the cemetery in honor of those now-anonymous souls who were buried in this nondescript corner.

Block 14 is an empty lot that formerly housed a County building; there are no trees, greenery or headstones in this part of the cemetery. But the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation and Metro, the owner of the cemetery, have plans to develop Block 14 into a Cultural Heritage Garden that will honor the early Chinese workers and patients from a pioneer-era asylum that are buried there and provide an inviting and beautiful entrance to the cemetery.

Lone Fir Cultural Heritage Garden

Plans include a new entrance to Lone Fir Cemetery that includes welcoming signs with information about the Cultural Heritage Garden and the history of the cemetery.

A master plan for the Cultural Heritage Garden was completed in 2008 with the support of Metro and the involvement of a diverse group of community members, including the Buckman Community Association, and history experts. Today the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation is collaborating with government agencies to identify and secure the funding needed to bring the vision to life. The Foundation’s campaign has set a $3 million goal for the creation of the Cultural Heritage Garden. Foundation Board Chair Mary Faulkner invites everyone to get involved and help the Cultural Heritage Garden become a reality.

To learn more about the Lone Fir Cemetery Cultural Heritage Garden and how to get involved to support the project, visit the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation www.lonefir.org. You can also follow the Foundation on Facebook.

Submitted by Lake Strongheart McTighe

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