UPDATE: LPD Continue Clean-Up at Cove Haven Cemetery

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Work continues on the restoration project at Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington ahead of Veterans Day, with attention being given to more than 400 graves belonging to veterans.

The leader of this project, Officer Ryan Holland with the Lexington Police Department, says he’s had a lot of support from sponsors and the local community..

The project to restore the cemetery began around a month ago, and a GoFundMe page was set to raise money.

ABC 36 was told that the cemetery had not been able to maintain the upkeep of the graves because of financial struggles.  The cemetery has also been a victim of vandalism.

Flags have been placed on the headstones of the veterans that have been laid to rest in the cemetery, one of only two cemeteries for African-Americans in the city.

Officer Holland says they have made more progress than they anticipated.  He says this is a gift to the veterans and their families.

Tommorrow there will be a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the cemetery.  The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. and is open to the public.

Meanwhile, there is still work needing to be done.  To find out how you can help, contact Officer Holland at rcholland@lexingtonpolice.ky.gov .

Monetary donations are still being accepted on their GoFundMe page.  To donate, click below.



11/3/16 12:04 p.m.

Police in Lexington are continuing their project of general maintenance and restoration at Cove Haven Cemetery.

Officers say they are looking for additional volunteers to join them from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 5 to clear brush along the fence line.  They are also asking people to bring trimmers and chainsaws, if available.

Police say their plans for restoration will require some funding, so they are asking for donations to clean the cemetery.  A link to the GoFundMe account set up for the project is included below.  For additional donation options, email Officer Holland at rcholland@lexingtonpolice.ky.gov .


10/26/16 4:13 p.m.

Lexington Police Officer Ryan Holland says that a new cleanup day has been scheduled as volunteers from the community continue their efforts to restore Cove Haven Cemetery.

The next clean up day will be on Saturday, November 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Volunteers are asked to bring trimmers and chainsaws, if possible, as the day will focus on trimming the perimeter fence line.

A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help raise money for the  restoration efforts.

That account can be accessed by clicking the link below.


10/15/16 6:36 p.m.

With every brush stroke, people are making sure cove haven cemetery is in tip top shape for veteran’s day.

Volunteer Julia Martin says, “I just want us not to forget, you know.”

Martin knows the cemetery well.

She says, “I’ve been coming to this cemetery all of my life really. My family’s buried here so I often come up here. I might trim weeds, trim brush, work on the flower gardens.”

But it’s been a long time since she’s seen so many people who care about honoring the more than 440 veterans buried here. The man behind the restoration effort is Lexington Police Officer Ryan Holland.

He says, “You drive by this everyday working in the neighborhood, so you see…you know we started working on this project months ago.”

But his plans to clean up the cemetery were put on fast-forward after a drunk driver crashed through the front gate a couple months ago.

Officer Eddie Thurman says, “officer Holland is a veteran and with Veteran’s Day coming up and he started looking at some of these graves. I mean, we got individuals that were in the Spanish American War, World War 1, World War 2, and a lot of those individuals don’t have any relatives that are still around. So if we can do any polishing and make some stuff look good than that’s our pleasure.”

Volunteers say it’s not just about honoring our heroes on veteran’s day, but taking pride in our shared history and community.

Volunteer Lisa Stuckey says, “I think it’s good just to come out and to remember the goodness of all of these people…These people who’ve given there lives, they’ve dedicated their lives, and to me it just brings an outpouring of love and affection.’

Officer Holland says, “I wanted the whole community to come together because this could be a pivotal point for one project to spread out throughout the city. And people volunteer and take pride not only in our neighborhood but in our city as a whole.”

Cove Haven Cemetery will host a Veteran’s Day service on Friday, November 11th at 11am. Officer Holland is hoping to get all the repairs done before then, but he’s still raising money to rebuild the front gate. Donations can be made at the Bank of the Bluegrass in Cove Haven Cemetery’s donation account. If you’d like to help volunteer contact Officer Holland at(859) 396-0920, or email him at rcholland@lexingtonpolice.ky.gov.

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