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HISTORICAL PRESERVATION CAMPAIGN
We are informing you as you may not know, De Pere Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1859 after Wisconsin was admitted to statehood, and is recognized as one of the most historical landmark sites in Brown County and is the final resting place for 3300+ people from all nationalities and faith. Laid to rest at Greenwood are over 260 veterans who served their country, 40 of which are Civil War veterans. Countless founders and leaders of De Pere’s history and surrounding areas are buried here. Schools, streets, and buildings throughout the area can be traced to those buried at Greenwood Cemetery.
However, this gracious and history-rich site is under severe threat, and we require your help to fund necessary and vital improvements for Greenwood for it to continue its mission of “honoring and preserving the heritage of past generations, serving the needs of the present generation, and providing a legacy for future generations.”
To this end, in 2019, the De Pere Greenwood Cemetery Board of Directors retained and hired Robert E. Lee and Associates, a highly respected regional engineering firm, to address serious cemetery preservation issues faced by the Board and rendered their recommendations.
Robert E. Lee and Associates rendered a 150-page report detailing the required steps needed to preserve the cemetery’s long-term integrity. Preservation issues include, but are not limited to:
1. Erosion: Bordering the Fox River and tributaries, soil erosion is so serious that cemetery lots and gravesites are exposed, which if not addressed, will continue to erode, and intrude into the main body of the cemetery causing loss of more graves and roadway.
2. Flooding and subsequent drainage issues: The gravesites and surrounding land are under continuous threat due to constant flooding and poor drainage, requiring immediate stabilization of the hillside erosion along the river and tributaries.
3. Prevention Landscaping: Necessary landscaping with native plantings is required to assist with flood and drainage control to preserve the hillside after erosion is repaired.
4. Headstone restoration: Approximately 2000 historical headstones require immediate attention due to ongoing deterioration and foundational degradation.
5. Familial Identification: Families of our early Founders survive and live in the area. In cases where survivors cannot be identified, Board members work to identify the family records through research, GPR and GPS. This requires an abundant amount of time and money.
6. S.O.S Damage: The report confirmed and verified far greater damage continues at an alarming rate.
Estimated cost for restoration and preservation range between $2,000,000 and $2,500,000.
Greenwood Cemetery is unique.
1. No one entity owns the land or the cemetery.
2. Those laid to rest or those who purchase plots own only the property deed, unlike other cemeteries where the rights to be buried (but not owning the property), are purchased.
3. No entity owns or funds Greenwood. We rely solely on limited funds and burial fees to maintain the daily, monthly, and seasonal upkeep.
4. There are individuals and families buried at Greenwood who have no survivors who can help with the considerable expense of upkeep and maintenance of their plots.
To address these issues, the Board of Directors created the Historical Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Campaign.
This fundraising campaign, which by its very nature is unique, because its potential funding sources are limited to those wanting to preserve the historical value and stop further degradation of this beautiful park-like neighborhood cemetery.
The background on Greenwood Cemetery has been provided because we need your financial assistance to provide this extensive preservation effort.
We would like to discuss possible financial assistance.
We thank you for your willingness to read through this and consider a donation to this cause. All donations are tax exempt and will receive a letter of eligibility to deduct contributions they make to the cemetery IRC Section 170 (c) (5) if the contributions are voluntary and are made to the cemetery as they are irrevocably dedicated to the preservation of the cemetery. Donations can be sent to the address below.
De Pere Greenwood Cemetery Association
435 N Broadway Ste A2
De Pere, WI 54116
PURCHASE A PAVER MARKER
Lookout Point Development
After we have the hillside of the Cemetery stabilized, we will be developing lookout areas and will be paving those areas. Pavers purchased will be used toward those lookout areas when the hillside project is finished.
Donors may be eligible to deduct contributions they make to the cemetery IRC Section 170 (c) (5) if the contributions are voluntary and are made to the cemetery as they are irrevocably dedicated to the preservation of the cemetery as a whole. Donors cannot deduct contributions they make for perpetual care of a particular lot or crypt. Also, donors cannot deduct payments they make as a part of the purchase price of a burial lot or crypt. EIN: 39-0320145