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Published on April 24, 2024
Oregon Historic Cemeteries Grant Committee to Evaluate Funding Applications for PreservationSource: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

On May 8, a committee dedicated to preserving the final resting places of history will convene to deliberate over the future of Oregon’s hallowed grounds. The Oregon Historic Cemeteries Grant committee is slated to review a slew of applications aiming to secure funding for the restoration and maintenance of the state’s storied cemeteries. It’s a solemn task, determining which of these age-old sites will receive the financial support they need to respect the past and educate the future.

The process, as outlined in a recent announcement on the state's newsroom website, involves meticulous scoring and ranking of the applications. With a keen eye on the significance of these historic sites, the committee's judgments will eventually make their way to the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries. Come May 20, the Commission will take the final call on who gets the much-needed grants. It's a paper-heavy, bureaucratic process — but one that holds the key to preserving Oregon's tangible links to yesteryears.

In a nod to modernity, or perhaps as a concession to circumstances dictating new norms, the meeting is set to be a hybrid affair. Stakeholders and the generally curious can log in via Zoom, to catch the proceedings from the comfort of wherever they please, or they can show up in person at the State Parks and Recreation Department's Salem office. A digital agenda available online provides all the relevant dirt, including how to register for the virtual component.

For a bit of civics lesson, it's the state law that gives life to this seven-member Commission, tasked with an operational trifecta: keep a comprehensive list of Oregon's historic burying grounds, initiate public education on the importance of these sites, and secure financial and technical backing for their upkeep. It’s a hefty mission, considering the grave amount of responsibilities they're shouldered with, ensuring these silent sentinels of history don’t fade into oblivion.