I have been walking through Oak Hill Cemetery for the past 20 years, and it has always been a place of beauty, affording peace of mind as I walk along the quiet roads amid the lush green grass, graveside plantings and time-worn trees.
Fast forward to this summer … gone is the serenity and lush grass. In its place is a wide brown ring of dead grass from the use of herbicide around every gravestone, water faucet and tree.
The death-brown color created from herbicide simply does not blend well with nature. It is not soothing to the eye; it is offensive, especially where its use is blatantly unnecessary as on flat stones flush to the ground or where it has killed graveside plantings. The dead grass looks incongruous in the old sections encircling the stones that are over 100 years old. Yet it looks equally hideous in the newer sections.
Put bluntly, Oak Hill Cemetery is an embarrassing eyesore.
The use of herbicide is so prevalent and misused that without the roots of the grass to hold the soil, erosion is occurring around numerous stones. The ground has washed away leaving the footings of many stones showing. In other places the erosion is so bad the stones have shifted.
The city needs to rethink its policy on the use of herbicides in the upkeep of Oak Hill Cemetery and bring it back to its former verdant beauty.