Progress made but officials say more work is needed to fix forgotten Batesburg-Leesville cemetery


On this Memorial Day, efforts are continuing to fix a cemetery in town that fell into a deep state of neglect.

“We committed to maintaining it and we continue to continuously improve it,” said Rodrick Edmond, who is a deacon at Olive Branch Baptist Church.

The cemetery, which belongs to the church, sits between Liberty and Howard streets in Batesburg-Leesville. It contains dozens of graves, including some which belong to veterans of WWI and WWII.

Over the years many volunteers have come from across the state to help with cleanups at the cemetery. The recurring problem, however, has been plants and kudzu vines that keep growing back. Officials with the church began working with NaturChem last year to conduct frequent sprays on the site.

“They {NaturChem} have done an excellent job of managing the vegetation growth,” Deacon Edmond said.

People have been trying to keep the cemetery clear for several years now.

Going forward the church says more sprays will need to be conducted on the site. Officials with ‘Olive Branch Baptist’ say the goal is to begin landscaping work on the cemetery to fix many of the graves that have sunken into the earth.

The church is aiming to begin that work sometime this fall.

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