Excellent article on Rochester Cemetery controversy


Photo by USFWS Endangered Species, Flickr.

The story of Rochester Cemetery in Cedar County is not new, but I recently discovered this excellent article about the cemetery from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Rochester Cemetery is a controversial place. In addition to serving the county as a cemetery, it is also one of the best prairie remnants left in Iowa. Nearby residents are divided on whether to maintain the prairie, or mow it into a more traditional cemetery environment.

One of the complaints is that tourists visiting the prairie are disrespectful of the graves because they do not view it as a cemetery. However, with such a small amount of prairie left, conservationists do not want to see Rochester Cemetery’s natural environment damaged.

3 thoughts on “Excellent article on Rochester Cemetery controversy

  1. My Great Great Great Grandfather is buried in Rochester Cemetary,, go there,, it is a jungle,, the stones are overgrown,,, I understand the need to save native species of Iowa… But a cemetary is a place where your loved ones are laid to rest,,, it would be nice to be able to find them….

  2. […] This cemetery is, excepting the graves which date from the 1830s, a rare piece of never-plowed prairie and savanna , replete with wildflowers and grasses. Still in use as a cemetery – that is, burials there are ongoing – the land has engendered something of a controversy among those who wish to preserve the prairie and those who wish to preserve the graves.  The cemetery has been documented here and the graves here.  It is on facebook and listed on many natural areas websites and drawn attention from U Iowa’s CGRER. […]

  3. […] This cemetery is, excepting the graves which date from the 1830s, a rare piece of never-plowed prairie and savanna , replete with wildflowers and grasses. Still in use as a cemetery – that is, burials there are ongoing – the land has engendered something of a controversy among those who wish to preserve the prairie and those who wish to preserve the graves.  The cemetery has been documented here and the graves here.  It is on facebook and listed on many natural areas websites and drawn attention from U Iowa’s CGRER. […]

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