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Citrus County Government Partners with Community to Improve Historic Cemetery

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on March 19, 2022

In February, Citrus County Government worked with the City of Inverness and local community members to make improvements to the historic Pine Hill Cemetery.

Citrus County Government Partners with Community to Improve Historic Cemetery

The cemetery is located in Downtown Inverness, on property owned by both the city and the county. The municipalities worked together to establish directional road signs and locations of placement. Citrus County provided the wayfinding signs, which were installed by the City of Inverness. Citrus County also provided and installed signs encouraging visitors to “clean up after your pet,” and improved the roadway within the cemetery. There are plans to install an additional welcome sign in the future.

“The community is delighted with the improvements to the Pine Hill Cemetery,” said Devonte White, who spearheaded the community initiative. “To many, Pine Hill was seemingly forgotten. However, with the installation of new signage, flags for veterans, and a new road to drive on, the cemetery has received a facelift. The recent improvements were a big step, and we all hope that this upkeep will continue well into the future.”

There is a long history of community involvement at Pine Hill Cemetery. While Citrus County Grounds Maintenance is responsible for general upkeep, the Citrus Garden Club volunteers their time quarterly to improve the grounds. Members of the VFW 4337 chapter come out and assist twice a year. Last November, the public was invited to join the groups for a day of volunteering.

“During our workdays, we water, weed, plant, and mulch the garden surrounding the welcome sign,” said Lesly Smith, Citrus Garden Club’s 1st Vice President and Chair for their work at Pine Hill Cemetery. “Several years ago, we planted a tree in memory of one of our members. In April, we will plant another tree in memory of a member who spent hundreds of hours at the cemetery, besides workdays.”

Besides maintaining the garden, the club occasionally repaints the sign. In November, with help from the VFW, they replace flags on veterans’ gravesites. They also trim low hanging branches, sweep leaves and pine needles off gravesides, weed around gravesites, rake up moss and other small twigs, and pick up trash. Those who are interested in volunteering with the Citrus Garden Club can call (307) 256-3082.

“It has been a pleasure working with Devonte White, the Citrus Garden Club, and members of the City of Inverness while making theses upgrades to Pine Hill Cemetery,” said Francine Nobles, Citrus County Parks & Recreation Director. “Not only has this project been rewarding, but it has also been educational to learn the history of the cemetery. I look forward to continuing our working relationship in the future.”

For more information, contact Parks & Recreation at (352) 527-7540.

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