Forest Hills Cemetery announced on April 22 that it is closing its gates, “allowing only visitation by lot and grave owners daily between 2 and 4 pm,” according to a letter from cemetery president George H. Milley, III.
Milley said in the letter that the decision came as a result of an abundance of “bikers, joggers and dog walkers” in the cemetery due to the closure of area playgrounds, schools, and non-essential businesses.
“Unfortunately, many of these visitors were not respecting social distancing or the sanctity of the Cemetery,” he said, adding that several other cemeteries, including Mount Auburn and Swan Point, have also closed their gates for this reason.
He said that despite the closure, Forest Hills Cemetery will continue to provide cremation and burial services. “In fact, we are seeing a significant increase in demand for these services,” he said. “We are prioritizing the safety and comfort of the families whom we are assisting. We also continue to do all we can to protect our staff so that they can provide these essential services for families and maintain our grounds during the pandemic.”
Previously, cemetery burial services at Forest Hills Cemetery were limited to ten people to comply with the governor’s order limiting gatherings to ten or fewer people, according to an announcement from March 24.