Slide Show: What's Wrong With Evergreen Cemetery?

And what can we do to fix it?

People have turned the historical site into a makeshift bedroom.
People have turned the historical site into a makeshift bedroom.
Back East ancient cemeteries are revered. 

Drive through New England and the grave sites of people and soldiers back to the Revolutionary War are tourist attractions, places people come to feel their history.

All along the coast the old cemeteries are kept up, but few are as beautiful as the Evergeen Cemetery in Santa Cruz. Yet, it is largely in disrepair and is now filled with campers and drug addicts. 

The plot is owned by the Museum of Art and History, which offers historical gatherings out there for children and adults. Local developer George Ow has started working on the Chinese section of the cemetery, as you can see in the pictures. The E Clampus Vitus historical group has fixed up the fence and done some work.

But why has our city let this place degrade so much? Why isn't it a tourist destination? And why are junkies shooting up across from a park where kids play soccer and baseball, and where school kids take lunch breaks? 

One could argue that letting homeless people camp in the cemetery is the best possible use of a place where others are resting in peace. In England, cemeteries are sometimes used for camping. But no one has considered the question here.

Also, with all the reverence made for Native American burial grounds in town, how can this native American cemetery be allowed to be so mistreated? 

Here's a disturbing video about the problem made by Take Back Santa Cruz. 

Dave Wade November 17, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Ownership by a non-profit museum lets the city say "it's not our problem." Yet the problems spill over into the adjacent neighborhood. In the short term, the museum is going to have to get harder nosed about their property.
Gary Neier November 18, 2013 at 09:08 AM
For folks interested in getting involved with Evergreen, here are some things you can do: - Call the police if you see folks camping - Join the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/evergreensantacruz/ - Join us for the weekly work party on Mondays 9:45-12:45 (lunch included!) Thank you to First Alarm for donating patrol time, the police for random patrols, and the community members who visit the cemetery and report problems
kem akol November 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM
how about some video cameras?
Jim November 18, 2013 at 01:59 PM
I would contest your statement regarding cemeteries back east. Some years ago I visited Philadelphia and Boston and witnessed the same problems you see in Evergreen cemetery including the breaking into the crypt by the homeless to sleep on the casket! This was actually in the cemetery that contained several founding fathers of Philadelphia but was not owned by the city but rather the church. It was one incident but I recall the bottles, cans, and trash scattered throughout all the cemeteries we visited obviously home to the homeless. Seems to me this area has been digressing for many years as the city allows. I for one will look for more updates from this group, take back Santa Cruz.


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