Pay It Forward – Restoring the historic Woodlawn Cemetery

The District of Columbia is known for various historic African American historic grounds.? One of these places is the Woodlawn Cemetery located on Benning Road in Southeast DC.? The cemetery sits on 22 acres of land with about 36,000 people buried there.? Some notable figures that are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery include Blanche K. Bruce, Wilson Bruce Evans, and John Wesley Cromwell. ?Blanche K. Bruce was the very first black Republican senator to serve full term in Congress.? Wilson Bruce Evans was a prominent abolitionist that owned a house on the Underground Railroad.? His house was a frequent stop for travelers such as Harriet Tubman.? John Wesley Cromwell was a lawyer, teacher, civil servant, journalist, historian, and civil rights activist.? However, even though Woodlawn Cemetery was their final resting stop, the land was not well maintained over the years.? It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 but still nothing had been done about the land being overgrown and very dangerous.

Thanks to Tyrone Carter and the Woodlawn Cemetery Association, they took it upon themselves to step up and revitalize the historic cemetery.? It was important to them to have the families of deceased loved ones to make the land clean and neat for tourists.? Something that is a tremendous part of history like shouldn?t just be left untreated.? For this reason, Fox 5 DC and Easterns Automotive Group teamed up to Pay It Forward by helping the Woodlawn Cemetery Association continue the restoration process.? Joel Bassam of Easterns announced that they will be donating $5,000 worth of landscaping courtesy of SML services.? With these funds, they will be able to clear debris and replace headstones.? It is important that Woodlawn Cemetery gets back to its original condition.? Shout out to both Tyrone Carter and the Wood lawn Cemetery Association for their incredible work!

If you know someone in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area that goes above and beyond the call and is worthy of being recognized, Click here to nominate them.

Watch the video to see the way everything unfolded.


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