State Seal Kentucky Department for Local Government
   DLG calls for grant applications for cemetery preservation funds
Press Release Date:  September 12, 2003

Ricki Gardenhire  (502) 573-2382


Frankfort, KY (Sept. 12, 2003) – Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Jody Lassiter requests grant applications from groups who want to preserve the state’s cemeteries.

Commissioner Lassiter said that a 2001 report produced by a task force created by the state Attorney General determined the need for cemetery preservation in Kentucky.

“According to the results of a task force survey, there are more than 13,000 identified cemeteries in Kentucky. And a tremendous amount of these cemeteries have been abandoned, meaning they have been neglected for many years.”

            The new Kentucky Cemetery Preservation Fund program has approximately $1 million in this first funding cycle for maintenance, preservation and restoration activities.

Examples of maintenance activities include initial cleanup and landscaping, purchasing equipment, fencing, signage and improving interior roads. Preservation and restoration activities include acquiring conservation easements, surveying boundaries and repairing and cleaning tombstones.

Other activities that are eligible for funding are historic research, archiving, training to support cemetery preservation and improving access roads.

            “We expect to see great interest in these dollars. Kentucky is known for its genealogical resources and cemetery preservation is a piece of the puzzle when putting together family histories,” said Lassiter. “It’s important to memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us by preserving and maintaining the state’s cemeteries and individual grave sites.”

Counties may establish five-member county cemetery boards to apply for grants. Initially, state agencies, local governments, and certain nonprofit organizations – cemeteries, historical and genealogical groups, and local civic groups – also may apply. However, applications from county boards will receive funding priority.

The maximum grant that a group can receive is $25,000 and the minimum grant is $2,500.

A five-member state board will oversee the program and make funding decisions. The state board is chaired by the Commissioner of DLG and also represents the Kentucky Heritage Council, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission.

Applications and instructions are available on the DLG web site at Click on “Downloadable Grant Information” for the grant application and other information.

For additional information on establishing county cemetery boards, phone Lee Creech at (502) 573-2382. The deadline for applying for this round of funds is Oct. 15.



Last updated: Wednesday, February 11, 2004