Home City of Charlottesville to address water issues in ‘colored section’ of historic Oakwood Cemetery

City of Charlottesville to address water issues in ‘colored section’ of historic Oakwood Cemetery

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Photo courtesy City of Charlottesville

The City of Charlottesville will begin remedial work at Oakwood Cemetery next week to address low-lying water issues and safeguard the historical significance of the cemetery.

The cemetery is approximately 14 acres and serves as a public burying ground located south of the downtown area.

The city held a series of informational sessions to engage and inform the community about deficiencies and planned remedial actions.

Line and Grade Civil Engineering also conducted a comprehensive forensic investigation focusing on the low-lying wet grounds within the cemetery, situated adjacent to Elliott Avenue and 1st Street South. Over several months, the investigation identified various hydrologic and hydraulic factors contributing to the persistent low-lying, wet conditions within the cemetery.

A thorough review of historic and cultural resources unveiled that the affected area aligns with the historically designated “colored section” of the cemetery. The study also showed the presence of documented burial sites alongside the likelihood of undocumented ones within the impacted area.

For more information on the remediation work, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (434) 970-3260.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.