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Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery will kill off its green Kelly Drive Hillside — in order to save it

Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery will kill off its green Kelly Drive Hillside — in order to save it

Thousands of motorists, cyclists, runners, and rowers pass the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia that rises 45 feet atop a steep slope overlooking Kelly Drive — the graveside monuments and headstones poking out from above as if guardians of the Schuylkill below.

Starting next week, that one-acre green slope at Kelly Drive and West Hunting Park Avenue will start turning brown as it gets defoliated with herbicides and by hand. The goal: Create a new meadow the cemetery’s owner believes will be more natural to the area, result in a haven for native bees and birds, help with erosion, and give passersby a more colorful view. Plus a granite outcrop that gives a commanding view of the river will be exposed for the first time in decades when ivy and other vegetation are gone.

“It’s a very unusual project. And we want to make sure the public is aware of what we are doing,” Nancy Goldenberg, president and CEO of Laurel Hill Cemetery, said during a walk Tuesday along the base of the slope. “I see thousands of people driving by or biking here every day. And this could all be gorgeous.”

Read more here: https://www.inquirer.com/news/laurel-hill-cemetery…