Cemetery stones are owned by the families of the deceased and are private property. When those families die or move away, the stones' repair and care remain the family’s responsibility. To maintain the cemetery's appearance, it may be financially able to fix or clean some of them. But when a cemetery, city, town, village, or church is in weak financial condition, restoration of the stones is impossible unless there is volunteer funding. Vale Cemetery’s 100 acres contain 33,000 burials and is maintained by only three employees.
Most of the families with ties to Vale have moved away. The church, military, and various civic and fraternal societies that once supported Vale are in decline. The city of Schenectady has lost 60,000 jobs since the days of General Electric’s ascendance. To reverse the dire loss of community support, Vale offers The Monument Restoration Workshop and the establishment of the Monument Restoration Fund. The fund will generate money that will begin to compensate for the loss of family financial support for the monuments. As time passes, many of the downed and broken stones will be beyond repair.
Now is the time to act!