Come Explore Historic Elmwood Cemetery
Historic Elmwood Cemetery is the oldest continuously operating, non-denominational cemetery in Michigan. The cemetery was established in 1846 and incorporated in 1849 as a non-profit corporation by an act of the Michigan Legislature. Founded by some of early Detroit’s leading citizens, Elmwood quickly expanded from its original 42 acres to its current size of 86 acres and became the final resting-place of tycoon and laborer alike.
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Elmwood Cemetery is Detroit’s First Certified Arboretum!
This past fall, Morton Arboretum and the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program announced Elmwood’s arboretum was certified as a Level 1 Accreditation. The Morton Arboretum said Elmwood achieved “particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens…and is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboretum.” As part of this process, Elmwood’s trees were surveyed and tagged, creating a detailed report of the species, location and condition of each of its trees. This has verified that Elmwood has practiced sound management in its care and reforestation of the 91 species among its 1,450 trees.
“The cemetery’s trustees have provided our grounds maintenance team with the resources necessary to properly maintain our collection of trees,” said Michael Shukwit, director of operations for Elmwood Cemetery. “With this certification, that commitment will continue and we plan on planting no less than 400 trees over the next ten years.”
Sandy McMillan said, “The cemetery’s certification as an arboretum is an important step in our education and outreach programs.” Late this winter, we placed identification signs adjacent to some of the trees. This spring and fall the Foundation will offer tree tours that will highlight both the history of the cemetery and talk about the different species of trees across our 86-acres.
Elmwood is partnering with Greening of Detroit on its reforestation plans and is offering Elmwood as an outdoor classroom to the forestry program with Greening of Detroit.
Historic Elmwood Cemetery is now a certified arboretum. Elmwood Arboretum Accreditation.
Elmwood Receives Tremendous Support from Local Grantors
Terry Book, president of the Historic Elmwood Foundation, said, "This has been an extraordinary year for the Historic Elmwood Foundation. The metro-Detroit community has been very supportive." The foundation has received significant grants:
** The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, $1 million to support restoration of many of the cemetery's roadways and painting the northern fenceline.
** The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, $34,500 for the development and production of audio tours
** The Elizabeth, Allan, & Warren Shelden Foundation, $25,000 for the care and preservation of the cemetery
** The Mary Thompson Foundation, $5,000 for Elmwood's bench program and transportation cart used for the aged and disabled.
This support as well as the contributions from our individual and corporate donors permits the Historic Elmwood Foundation to move forward with a number of key initiatives at Elmwood Cemetery.
Click here to learn more about the grants.