Submitted by Katherine Sansone
The Cemetery District has been active in tree removal and taking the next steps to return the Chester cemetery to its original beauty after the Dixie Fire knocked on its door and surrounded the grounds destroying 40 trees and the administration building.
“We have made tremendous progress considering we are coming up on the second anniversary of Dixie,” says Wes Scott, cemetery district manager. “Like anything, it is always more work than anticipated and more costly. Though we are grateful for a winter that gave us lots of water for our rivers and lakes, the delays and continuing cost of services have added to unforeseen costs. We are short funds to do what is necessary to rebuild the cemetery.”
The removal of burned trees cost $65,000. This was just the first step to prepare for the restoration. With that completed, the next step is working with a local landscaper to plant trees. “This part of the restoration will cost a total of $40,000. We were fortunate to receive some funding from FEMA but it was less than anticipated,” Scott adds. As the district manager he is also looking into other types of funding from other Foundations and applying for grants to keep the project moving forward. “This project is important to our community and one of the reasons The Almanor Foundation was happy to provide a vehicle for their fundraising process,” says Susan Bryner, executive director for TAF. Both Scott and Bryner say this is the perfect example of collaboration between two organizations that allows both to accomplish their goals.
The first round of funding from the greater Lake Almanor Basin raised $17,000. The cemetery needs an additional $10,000. “Our work is hardly done. It took 60 days to contain Dixie. It will take decades to rebuild all of Plumas County with the The Chester Cemetery part of restoration,” says Scott. “We would like to see our beloved cemetery restored by 2024 and are confident that we can do that with the help of the community. We are so appreciative of your generosity and hope we can count on your support to make Chester Cemetery once again be a beautiful resting place for our loved ones.”
For those interested in supporting the rebuild efforts of Chester Cemetery, please visit https://almanorfoundation.org/our-funds/