project leader
Melissa L
4909 Bassett Avenue
(Forest View Neighborhood)
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Thank you!

the project

Friends of Forest View Cemetery is raising money to preserve and protect Forest View Cemetery, its land, and its mature trees. This forgotten cemetery sits in the middle of Forest View Neighborhood and has been overrun with poison ivy and overgrowth for decades. We are working to restore the cemetery and learn more about its history.

Forest View Cemetery is registered with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and can be found on a map dated 1898, though it could date back much further. Bernard Markham, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, owned the land in 1768 and more research needs to be done to learn about the land’s prior uses. Neighborhood lore tells us that it may have been a slave cemetery. It has been told that a Native American man, who lived on the property and tended the well, is buried there. There is also the story of a woman who was said to be too large for a coffin, so she was buried sitting in a straight back chair. Residents who grew up in the neighborhood remember playing among the headstones in the 1950’s, but the lot has become so overgrown with brambles and ivy that the headstones are no longer visible. The cemetery has become more of a public nuisance than a place of remembrance.

Our fall/winter phase will begin work to clear the land, with the environmentally friendly use of goats. We will then be able to work with archeologists and historians to try and determine how many people are buried here, and to locate any markers or stones, all while keeping the hope that we may be able to discover who was buried here. The closed-up well on the property could also lend more information as to the history of the land.

Friends of Forest View Cemetery plan to restore the land to a place of remembrance for the people who lived and died here, and to create a neighborhood green space with native plantings. But first we need to the goats!

the steps

Phase one: Fall/Winter clearing of brush with the help of Goats!

The fall/winter phase will begin to clear the land, with the environmentally friendly help of goats.

RVA Goats will remove brush piles along the edges of cemetery. A fence path will be cut and electric fencing will be installed. Goats will be brought onto the land. The goats will do a first phase fall/winter munch of ivy. Brush will be removed and hauled to a composting facility.

This first fall/winter phase will allow easier access for archaeologosts over the winter months.

Phase two will be a separate campaign and will allow more clearing to be done in the spring. 

The clearing of the land and its overgrowth will allow Friends of Forest View Cemetery to work with archeologists and historians to learn more about the cemetery and its history. 

why we're doing it

History holds the stories of lives lived, but there are times when history is neglected, forgotten, or untold. We feel that it is important to honor the lives of the people who are buried here by bringing the cemetery back to a place of remembrance and beauty, and in doing so, creating a neighborhood green space for many generations to come.


DISBURSEMENT BUDGET (as of 11.28.17):

RAISED = $1,026.00
less ioby Platform Fee  waived
less ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $48.86
less Payment Processing Fee (3%) $29.88

Full amount will go to RVA Goats to clear debris from the cemetery.


UPDATED BUDGET (11.17.17):

ioby Platform Fee  waived
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $48
Donation Processing Fee (3%) $29



It will take approximately two weeks to complete the project. The funds raised will pay for RVA Goats to clear the wood and debris from the cemetery. RVA Goats will remove brush piles along the alley, set-up electric fencing for the goats, and bring goats onto the lot to eat the ivy and overgrowth. All trees and shrubs less than 2” in diameter will be removed. All vertical vines will be cut. Downed branches and brush will be cleared away and hauled to a composting facility.

SUBTOTAL = $2,900
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $145
Donation Processing Fee (3%) $87



Thank you!

We did it! There are goats in Forest View Cemetery! Thank you to all who helped to get this first fall/winter phase started! You helped to make the preservation of this forgotten cemetery a reality with your generosity. Thank you!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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