Final resting place of Arthur Ashe called 'dump' - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Final resting place of Arthur Ashe called 'dump'

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

The final resting place of tennis legend Arthur Ashe is being called a dump. Families with relatives at Woodland Cemetery in Henrico say the grounds are in terrible shape. 

Rosa Sears' namesake and beloved grandmother is buried at Woodland Cemetery.

"It does not even seem like a human being is in charge of anything over there," said Sears.

The grass is so high you literally stumble upon headstones.  

"This was a lady that was clean," said Sears of her grandmother.  "Cleanliness is next to Godliness, but that cemetery is deplorable." 

We found Rodney Haith out tending his father and grandparents grave.

"Nobody keeps it up," said Haith. "I've been doing this now probably for two years."

We tracked down the last known groundskeeper, Veronica Davis. Davis is with a group called Virginia Roots. 

"Ultimately, the future of the Black cemeteries in Richmond depend upon those families who have ancestors buried there," said Davis. "They either need to pay to have someone to go out to clean up regular like their lawns, go out to their plot and have a family history day, or give to the perpetual care fund."

Sears says that is not a sustainable system.

"A lot of those graves out there are so old that the grandchildren of these people are dead and gone," said Sears. "Somebody has to take responsibility. We all are going to leave here one day, but plant me somewhere that is not going to be a dump. It looks like a dump over there." 

Davis has promised to meet with us Thursday afternoon. 

"Virginia Roots has reached out to the owners and learned that the owner is under doctors care and that employees have been given orders to only clean plots of those families that are paying," said Davis. "Those who feel that this has not been done for their plots provide receipts and plot numbers to the workers, is the best resolution.

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