To the Editor:
I'm a parishioner at Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich.
My family and I usually walk for exercise in Catholic cemeteries, particularly Saint Joseph on Route 3 in West Greenwich. The grounds crew there is very tolerant, if over-worked.
Let me encourage the Diocese to change policies in order to save money, fuel, and labor at the cemeteries and to reduce air pollution and global warming in the process.
I realize that groundkeepers want the cemeteries to look neat and clean.
They might believe that the grass lawns must be as low as possible in order to attract new businesses/clients/families. Still, it should be realized that many areas of the cemeteries that are not "occupied" could be cut much less often and still be very presentable. For example, at Saint Joseph's more that 90% of the 30 or so acres of lawns are "unoccupied." Much of this unoccupied acreage is far away from Route 3, the entry roads, and the occupied part of the cemetery. Yet, all of the lawn is cut so short, so frequently, that much of it turns brown and ugly this time of year. Cutting the "back" acreage every two or four weeks would be sufficient to keep the cemetery looking neat, and it would produce benefits to your treasury, the environment, our natural resources, the grounds-keepers and the machinery.
I encourage Bishop Tobin, Father Verdelotti, and all other officials to have these socially and environmentally conscious changes made, and as soon as possible. Again, my intent is to help, not to criticize.
Timothy P. Schwartz