In the middle distance, beyond a grassy expanse, is a cluster of gravestones In the foreground, on the side of the road, is a flag marking another burial and suggesting that there may be many burials without markers. In the distance a cell tower rises above the tree line.

African American Cemetery Project

In the middle distance, beyond a grassy expanse, is a cluster of gravestones In the foreground, on the side of the road, is a flag marking another burial and suggesting that there may be many burials without markers. In the distance a cell tower rises above the tree line.

Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds has partnered with Preservation Pennsylvania on two projects to support the protection and preservation of African American cemeteries and burial grounds across Pennsylvania. Both of these projects are currently in development. Please check this page for updates and sign up for our enews to receive notifications in your inbox.

 

Pennsylvania Heritage Areas Pilot Project: Grant Applications Now Open!

This pilot project will engage with volunteer stewards at two or three historic African American cemeteries located within the boundaries of any of Pennsylvania’s 12 heritage areas (HeritagePA).

logos for HeritagePA and DCNRPILOT PROJECT GOAL: Develop an actionable, site-specific preservation plan for each of the selected cemeteries. The action plan will clarify which projects are appropriate for volunteer efforts and which will require the expertise of skilled professionals. A successful volunteer work event will be the capstone achievement of the project period.

This pilot program is being funded by Heritage PA , financed by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, the Heritage Areas Program under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

The Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program was established to identify, protect, develop, enhance and promote the historic, recreational, natural, cultural and scenic resources of this Commonwealth and to stimulate community revitalization and economic development through regional heritage conservation, recreation, tourism and partnerships.

Click here for the application form.

Deadline Extended: December 5

a map uses colored swaths to show heritage area locations


Seeking Consultant to Work with African American Cemetery Stewards

Preservation PA in Partnership with PA Hallowed Grounds is seeking a consultant to assist with an African American cemetery project.  The consultant will work with volunteer cemetery stewards at 2-3 African American cemeteries located within Pennsylvania’s twelve Heritage Areas to develop a list of priorities for each cemetery and work with the stewards to plan one project that can be accomplished by volunteers.  This is a pilot project that will assess the interest and need for possible future rounds of funding.

Consultant Qualifications will include:
• Experience with cemetery assessment and evaluation
• Expertise in cemetery conservation, historic preservation, and historic landscapes
• Experience working with grassroots community groups and/or African American cemetery stewards

Click here to download the RFP document (pdf) with the full details.

DEADLINE:   Monday, November 21, 2022 1:59 EST   (after the time change)

This program is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program and the Heritage Areas Program under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

 


Pennsylvania African American Cemetery Stewards Network

Preservation Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds, is in the development phase for the Pennsylvania African American Cemetery Stewards Network. The project will be funded with a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Trust’s Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places.

Preservation Pennsylvania’s $50,000 grant was awarded in the Project Planning category for development of a new statewide program to protect and preserve Pennsylvania’s African American cemeteries and burial grounds, with a pilot project offering mini-grants, technical assistance, and a toolkit for cemetery stewards.

Over one hundred African American cemeteries have been identified in Pennsylvania telling an underrepresented part of our history, yet they are threatened by underfunding, development, and changing demographics. These sites are also the final resting place of Black veterans, including many of the 8,612 Pennsylvania men who served with the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War. This grant will pilot methods of direct assistance to these sites as well as offering training and technical assistance to the larger community of cemetery stewards. It will also help build public awareness and identify additional funding to preserve this heritage.

Please note: Applications aren’t available yet!  The program will offer cemetery stewards site-specific preservation plans, financial advice, and direct support for site conservation and planning for future work.  

A matching grant from the 1772 Foundation will enable Preservation Pennsylvania and PA Hallowed Grounds to develop a program that will support the long-term preservation of Pennsylvania’s African-American cemeteries by aiding the cemetery stewards who manage these sites.


ABOUT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE ACTION FUND FROM THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Now in its fifth year, the Action Fund has supported 160 places through its National Grant Program for a total investment of $12.4 million. This year’s list further demonstrates the beauty and complexity of African American life, and includes historic sites tied to Black arts, culture, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, sports, medicine, education, religion, and social justice. These often-overlooked places hold aspects of history that must be protected—and used to draw inspiration and wisdom for the benefit of all Americans. Click here to learn more.

ABOUT THE 1772 FOUNDATION
The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic assets to future generations. Click here to learn more.

ABOUT PA HALLOWED GROUNDS
The mission of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds (PAHG) is to honor, interpret, and preserve African American cemeteries and the burial sites of Civil War African American Sailors and United States Colored Troops in America. PAHG connects and builds the capacity of stewards of these cemeteries and burial sites, and supports conservation, documentation, education, and training. Working collaboratively with other groups and organizations, PAHG provides tangible encounters with memory and enriches the public understanding of history.

ABOUT PRESERVATION PENNSYLVANIA
Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth’s only private statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them. Preservation Pennsylvania was established by the Commonwealth’s General Assembly in 1982 as the Preservation Fund of Pennsylvania, a statewide revolving fund to assist in the acquisition and rehabilitation of historic properties. Since then, Preservation Pennsylvania has grown into its role as a private, nonprofit membership organization with a statewide mission to protect and preserve Pennsylvania’s irreplaceable historic places.

Whether as a leader, partner, or advisor, Preservation Pennsylvania works to secure the future of the past through educational outreach workshops and events, legislative advocacy, advisory and technical assistance in the field, and other special initiatives. The organization is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2022. Consider making a 40th Anniversary donation to support our work.