ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and the Historic Fairview Cemetery in Albuquerque are looking for volunteers to help clean up the cemetery grounds 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 2.
The cemetery is located at 700 Yale Boulevard SE. Volunteers are encouraged to bring shovels/rakes/hoes, weed whackers, wheelbarrows, water, a hat, sturdy work gloves, sunglasses or goggles/protective eyewear, and sunscreen. Pickup trucks or towed utility trailers would also be appreciated to help spread mulch and haul gathered debris to an on-site dumpster.
DVS is leading a multi-agency effort to restore the historic 17.5-acre historical cemetery, which is maintained by a volunteer nonprofit organization. Nearly 500 veterans—some of whom served in the Civil War and Spanish-American War–are buried in gravesites that, along with the rest of cemetery’s 12,000 plots, have eroded to the point of needing major repairs.
“DVS will be looking into ways it can help the dedicated non-profit staff to restore the cemetery to a dignified final resting ground for departed New Mexicans,” DVS State Benefits Division Director Edward Mendez said, whose division manages the state’s veterans cemeteries in Angel Fire, Fort Stanton, and Gallup. “For the hundreds of veterans laid to rest, we especially want to make sure they are properly honored for their service to our country.”
The Fairview Historical Cemetery, which is closed for burials, traces its roots to 1881, as an informal unsupervised burial ground for many in the growing Albuquerque area. In 1934, a new burial ground was built adjacent to the south side of the existing cemetery. This new area is known today as Fairview Memorial Park, an independently operated public cemetery serving families throughout the Albuquerque metro area.
Directions to enter the Historic Fairview Cemetery:
Enter through the gates of Fairview Memorial Park, just north of the intersection with Caesar Chavez Blvd. Drive straight ahead toward the cemetery office. At the intersection, turn left and head north into the Historic Fairview Cemetery. Directional signs will help guide the way.
For more information, contact Gail Rubin at 505.363.7514.