Work crews have started several improvements to the Clark Lake Cemetery. What remains of the old chain link fencing will be removed and be replaced with “spear top” fencing. The new fencing will extend around the three sides of the cemetery—north, south and west. It will blend with fencing already in place at the front, or east face.
To clear the way for the new fencing, crews have been cutting trees that would block it. Some of the trees and brush have already been taken down. Other trees to be removed are marked with a red spray-paint dot. Columbia Township Supervisor Barry Marsh comments “the addition of the approximately 950 feet of new fencing demonstrates the Township’s commitment for conservation and improvements for Township cemeteries.” He adds “the Township Board wants to ensure that we create an inviting, beautiful, and peaceful space that is accessible to our residents and visitors.”
Along with miscellaneous brush, a large, ugly mound of dirt at the west boundary will also be hauled away.
At the time the board last visited the topic in the spring, the cost estimate was $47,350.
This is not the first effort to improve the cemetery. As previously published on this website, about 18 years ago a major improvement was initiated by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation (then called the Clark Lake Foundation). At the time, the fence and pillars facing Hyde Road were not there. Those accessing the boat launch across the street would park their cars and trailers well into the cemetery and atop some of the graves. Recognizing the desecration, the Foundation’s president at the time, Mike McKay, contacted then Township Supervisor Dan Burich. They discussed the possibilities. Mike had the cemetery surveyed, and found the boundaries were rightfully 20 feet to the east, where cars and trailers were parking. What took place next was a collaborative effort involving Dan Burich and the Foundation directors at the time–Mike McKay, Brian Adamzcyk, Michele Ambs, Peggy Collins, John Kudner, Linda Reynolds, Joe Thorrez, Mick Thorrez, and Nate Vermeulen. A plan was conceived to install the fencing and pillars. As with some other Clark Lake projects, both the energy and financing for the project came from residents through the Foundation.
Clark Lakers regularly volunteer to upgrade the landscaping along the front of the cemetery, including plantings and trimming.
Click for website story about cemetery discussion last spring.