Forest Hills Cemetery CEO Says Tree Fellings Are to Get Rid of Pests, Add Plots

The chief executive officer of Forest Hills Cemetery gave an interview to the JP Gazette in which he spoke to people's concerns about widespread tree cutting in the historic garden cemetery.

The head of has told the JP Gazette the removal of trees is both because of a pest and to make room for new plots.

JP Patch . Hemlocks in the garden cemetery are threatened by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, which kills the trees. Cemetery CEO George Milley confirmed to the Gazette that the cemetery is also clearing land for new graves.

"I don’t think people fully understand what we do here," Milley told the Gazette. "We’re private. We have no public funding. We have to make decisions on good, sound business standards."

Read the entire Gazette story here.

yannaro September 14, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Folks, it's a cemetery. They bury people. Why is this news?
William Dawes September 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM
To me the question is: How well is the Cemetery run, what financial condition is it in, and what would happen if it failed? What city or state organization would need to pick up the cost of running it, especially in light of Mr. Milley's recent capital expenditures in the last two years. Is it being run well, or will it be another failed organization falling into the laps of the taxpayers? "Good, sound, business standards" says Mr. Milley. OK, let's look at their annual filings. To do this, go to www.guidestar.org, which is a website that allows for looking into non-profit organizations. You need to create a login (which is free), and search on "Proprietors of Forest Hills Cemetery". Then, click on "Forms 990 and Docs". You will see the filings up until 2010, the last year filed. Click on 2010, and you will see their filed return...
William Dawes September 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM
OK, so now we see their 2010 return, which also has some information on the previous year. What jumps out at us? First, on line 19 "Revenue less expenses" we see that they had a net operating loss of $131,133 in 2009, and had a net operating loss of $137,042 in 2010. That's a loss, folks, as in "in the red". But there must be more losses somewhere, because the total loss on line 7b is $181,506. I think the Cemetery would be an excellent candidate for some investigative journalism to answer the questions - What is their financial condition, and what would happen if they failed?
Anita Anger September 14, 2012 at 04:27 PM
It's too late now, but really woolly adelgid infestations can be called to a halt. Bartlett Tree did that here a few years ago.
Lisa Gallagher September 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
It is a historical garden cemetery and a historical landmark in Jamaica Plain/Boston. It is one of the most beautiful green spaces in the area. It should be protected from over development.


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