Since its founding in 1850, Oakland has remained true to its original vision as an active cemetery, but is equally well-loved as a greenspace where locals come to walk dogs, or just take in the gothic fairy-tale environment. But when a tornado ripped through the area in March 2008, Oakland’s original six-acres lay directly in its path. Many of its storied trees and shrubbery were damaged beyond repair, gravestones and statuary were shattered into pieces, and the soil has languished in various states of decline.
Landscaping and restoration efforts are ongoing, but to this day, much of the tornado’s damage can still be seen. As part of Creative Loafing’s inaugural Do Good Campaign — a series of grassroots partnerships with various neighborhoods and nonprofits throughout the city to help them raise funds for projects they might not have the resources for otherwise — the Atlanta-based news organization is partnering with the Historic Oakland Foundation to raise $2,500 to revitalize a public gathering area that’s part of the cemetery’s original plot. Do Good sponsor the Home Depot Foundation will match donations dollar for dollar up to $2,500.
Separated by Oakland’s main thoroughfare, Old Hunter Street, the original six-acre plot encompasses two public gathering areas called the North and South Public Grounds that sit just inside the cemetery gates. Renovations to North Public proper began in 2011. Restoration of South Public is underway as well, but much of the area is still in dire need of landscaping, which is where this Do Good project, dubbed “South Public Grounds Replanting,” comes into play. Money raised for the project will fund an extensive effort to open up the area: clearing out brush, uprooting plants, and repairing a wall, followed by planting new shrubbery that will enclose the area and restore the soil.
Read more about this project on CLATL.com: http://clatl.com/atlanta/help-restore-and-revive-oakland-cemetery/Content?oid=7858257