ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – There are several hundred headstones at the Washington Park Cemetery in North County that are easily visible and well-kept, but along the northside of the cemetery it’s a different story.
“A lot of those headstones have been buried,” Focal Pointe’s Dan Schaefer said.
For years, plants have overtaken the corner of the cemetery along Interstate 70, and what’s left can simply be described as a canopy of shrubs, hiding names and stories.
“There’s one specific headstone that really affected me,” Schaefer told Fox 2. “It’s a five-year-old baby headstone that’s just buried within that mass.”
Dan Schaefer with the landscaping company Focal Pointe estimates there are about 25 headstones buried underneath. Focal Pointe is helping clean up the cemetery Friday for its third annual fall community outreach cleanup. It all came together because of sign posted along the highway .
“We saw the ‘volunteers needed’ sign along the side of the road,” Schaefer explained. “We just happened to call the phone number to see what was needed.”
What is needed is some heavy-duty landscaping, which Schaefer plans to facilitate with about 25 volunteers.
“Once you get into that blob of honey suckle, and you see the headstones that are underneath it really gives you motivation to get after it,” he said.
An effort that Schaefer believes could uncover more headstones that have been lost through the years.
“There could be lots. Numerous of them have just settled through time.”
The plants and shrubs taken down Friday morning will be given to STL Compost to be processed for wood chips and other recycled materials.