MACON, Ga. — Have you been out to Rose Hill Cemetery lately?
Overgrown grass, weeds on walkways, and fallen bricks are just a few things taking over Rose Hill.
Macon native, Joey Fernandez, spends hours fixing up the cemetery every week.
"When you fix something that's been broken for 60 something years or when you dig something up and put it back together like a puzzle, it's really rewarding," Fernandez said.
With friends, he repoints brick walls, restores monuments, and rips out overgrown roots and vines.
"Just putting this back together saved all of this from falling down. We would lose this," he said.
Except, 65 acres of land is a lot for anyone to keep up with.
"It's tough. It's a big cemetery and a lot of headstones you've got to walk around," he said.
Rose Hill Cemetery is in tough shape, but Mayor Lester Miller signed a contract with Paulk Landscaping to mow at least five times a year.
"The county recognizes the problem due to the shortage of labor and restrictions on inmate labor so we immediately addressed the issue by hiring a private contractor to remedy the problem," said Macon Mayor Lester Miller.
According to Macon-Bibb's Parks and Beautification Director Michael Glisson, prior to COVID-19, they hired prison crews to mow the grass and last summer, they had less rain.
"I just want to let everybody know, thank you for sticking with us. For understanding the problems that we have had due to COVID and weather and things like that. We have a contractor in now and we are going to see some great changes in Rose hill pretty soon," Glisson said.
"It's a really great thing now that there is a private contractor that is going to be responsible for having the grass cut. It's going to make a huge difference," Fernandez said.
The city's contract with Paulk Landscaping, isn't just with Rose Hill. They'll also be helping out at Evergreen and Fort Hill.
Glisson says the city allocated $150,000 towards restoring the cemeteries.