Volunteers help clean up Shady Lane Cemetery

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SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Now to the latest on a neglected cemetery we told you about two weeks ago.

After our story aired, the community decided to join together and Saturday pitched in to clean it up even though it’s owned by someone else.

American flags at all cemeteries represent a solider who spent time fighting for our freedom. At Shady Lane Cemetery, most graves to the men and women are covered in debris.

The crew at Titan Tree Service were volunteering their time Saturday to clean up what has been neglected for so long.

“I mean that is what we are here for, you know, we’re going to take care of the people that have taken care of us. Let them rest easy the best they can,” Titan Tree Service owner Alec Senofonte said.

As thick brush was being cut down, Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak was lending a hand picking up the pieces. As a piece of “Bobcat” equipment hauled it away, volunteers were working other sections of the land.

“We have a flail mower, brush hog, we’re going to take some high grass and weeds out and we’re going to cut, widen the roads, we have a lift. There is quite a bit of dead branches over some of the graves and do some canopy elevation. Try and open up things as best we can,” Senofonte said.

The question still remains who owns this cemetery? The Lackawanna County’s Assessment Office has little information on that answer. But the Lackawanna County Veterans Affairs director used his sources to get some information.

“We found out a group from New England actually owns this property. When they purchased it, the property, they thought it was just land,” Eisele said.

Eisele says they have neglected it for several years.

“We’re trying to contact the owners to see if there is any kind of perpetual care or if they have any plan to continue with the upkeep of this cemetery,” Eisele said.

“We’re just moving brush around, we’re clearing tombstones and picking up falling flags,” volunteer Michael Scutt said.

Scutt and other volunteers were replacing those flags as grooming continues for Memorial Day and beyond.

“I brought a chainsaw, my uncle, my aunt. We brought some rakes and stuff and we’re trying to do the best we can to help clean it up,” Scutt said.

Volunteers with Lackawanna County Veterans Affairs plan to work throughout the week at Shady Lane Cemetery mowing the grass.

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