A news release from Sen. Irma Brown
indicates people aren't happy with state and city action on cleaning up Haven of Rest Cemetery
, a historic black cemetery on 12th street that was targeted for improvement in 2007 legislation.
The Friends of Haven of Rest Cemeterywill hold a Community Forum, to discuss the failure of the Arkansas Cemetery Board to address the cycle of poor maintenance and operations at Haven of Rest Cemetery located near the University Park Neighborhood at 12th and Westpark Streets in Little Rock, AR on:
Thursday, September 25, 2008, 6:00-7:30p.m. , Bethel A.M.E. Church, 815 W. 16th Street, Little Rock, AR, 72202
The purposes of the Community Meeting are to: draw community attention to the cycle of deplorable maintenance and management conditions at Haven of Rest Cemetery; facilitate a partnership between the State of Arkansas, City of Little Rock and others to address the maintenance, operation and preservation of the historic Haven of Rest Cemetery through a proactive plan that looks at the current and long-term preservation of the Cemetery; and to prevent Haven of Rest Cemetery from becoming a public nuisance.
. During the 2007 Session of the Arkansas General Assembly, Senator Irma H. Brown and Representative Wilhelmina Lewellen sponsored legislation which provided a framework and money for the State of Arkansas and City of Little Rock to address the problems at Haven of Rest Cemetery. The legislation was adopted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Mike Beebe. To date, however, the Arkansas Cemetery Board has refused to address the preservation, maintenance and operation of Haven of Rest Cemetery as contemplated by these Legislators and Governor Mike Beebe in Acts 403 and 1667. (See attached news article: "Beebe sent bill letting board buy cemetery LR’s Haven of rest lacks clear owner”, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, March 22, 2007.)
Since June 2008, community residents, now called the Friends of Haven of Rest Cemetery, have been meeting and organizing to draw attention to the cycle of deplorable conditions at Haven of Rest Cemetery. On August 13, 2008, they attended a Special Meeting of the Arkansas Cemetery Board to urge an end to the destruction of this historic Cemetery, without result.
They want total community participation in the Forum at Bethel A.M. E. Church on September 25, 2008, as well as, the Arkansas Cemetery Board Meeting on September 30, 2008 at 10:30a.m. to convince the Arkansas Cemetery Board and Governor Beebe to address preservation, maintenance and operation of Haven of Rest Cemetery as contemplated by Acts 403 and 1667.