The Grazing Ram: New Canaan Will Do More for Its Cemeteries, But We Need Your Help


Broken graves at the Carter Street Cemetery Credit: Annamari Mikkola

[Leo Mikkola-Patel is a New Canaan High School junior. He writes “The Grazing Ram” column for]

My last article covered the neglect of many small cemeteries around town. After writing that article, I had the opportunity to meet with Tucker Murphy, administrative officer in the first selectman’s office, and Tiger Mann, director of the Department of Public Works (DPW.) We discussed a plan of action to resolve the neglect and extreme overgrowth in many of our cemeteries, which I believe dishonors the veterans and everyone else buried in them. 

Our plan centers on requesting that the town government, specifically, the Board of Finance, establish an official budget line for the DPW to start the routine and appropriate maintenance of many of the public cemeteries. Based on my discussions with Ms. Murphy and Mr. Mann, the town should be able to accomplish this at de minimus cost.

The next step would be for me to speak at the Nov. 14 Board of Finance meeting to propose this idea and garner support for this cause. This is where I need your help. I am looking for members of the community to join me at my presentation to show support for this cause. It is at 7 p.m. at Town Hall and if you were to come speak, it would truly help the cause.

If you cannot attend the Board of Finance meeting, please consider signing this petition to demonstrate to the Board of Finance how much this problem means to you.  This just takes a few seconds and if enough people show their support, it will do a lot of good in our town, especially for the fallen soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our town and nation.

Please forward this article and petition link to friends and neighbors who are supportive.

I am also looking for organizations that are willing to help out or come speak at the meeting. If you are a member of one of the following organizations or would like to involve your organization in this project please reach out to me at the email:

  • New Canaan Beautification League 
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 653
  • New Canaan Garden Club
  • Daughters of the American Revolution 
  • New Canaan Historical Society

New Canaanites, let’s do the right thing for our veterans and ancestors by properly maintaining and beautifying our cemeteries.

2 thoughts on “The Grazing Ram: New Canaan Will Do More for Its Cemeteries, But We Need Your Help

  1. I was just wondering about what current cemetery clean up projects there are currently, and what is being done already?

    • From the DPW:

      “There are 27 cemeteries in Town. We have 7 which are open to the Public. We received a $5,000 grant recently for Neglected Cemetery Maintenance. (At present, the Town does not have a dedicated budget line for cemetery maintenance.) The RFP detailed the following description for the proposed work:

      * Clearing of weeds, briars and bushes;

      * Spring and Fall clean up and maintenance mowing of grounds lawn area;

      * Repair fences and walls (if directed);

      * Straighten headstones (if directed).

      “We planned to visit each cemetery four (4) times per year: Spring and Fall Clean up and two (2) mowings (late Spring and early Fall.) Locations:

      * Talmadge Smith Cemetery, Old Stamford Rd

      * Waterbury Cemetery, Jelliff Mill Road

      * Parade Ground Cemetery, Parade Hill Road

      * Seeley Crissey Cemetery, Old Stamford Rd

      * Young Burial Ground, Ponus Ridge Road

      * Crissey Cemetery, Ponus Ridge Road

      * Silvermine Cemetery, Silvermine Road

      * Rock School District Cemetery, Canoe Hill Rd

      * Brookside Road Cemetery, Brookside Road

      “The contract was for $7,950 (Grant Funds plus monies supplemented from our DPW Highway Budget).”

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