A Huge Gift to the City of Rochester – Our Second Saturday Volunteer Program


2020 was the first year that the Friends of Mount Hope took over the Second Saturday Program at the request of Jeff Simmons, Cemetery Manager.

Second Saturday Volunteer Program Mount Hope Cemetery

For years, the Friends had worked with community volunteers doing landscaping work, so we were happy to take on this project. Every month from April through November on the second Saturday of the month, volunteers gather at the gatehouse. Our leaders describe the day’s project, review the required safety features, distribute rakes, gloves, tools, and tarps, and everyone proceeds to the work site.

Leading our Second Saturday crew this year were Tom Jones, Chris Petote, and Tony Filer.

Their projects included planting trees – they planted 12 in 2021 – raking, clearing woody plants from between monuments, cutting out invasive species, cutting out volunteer trees and planting daffodils.

Chris Petote, one of the project leaders, comments:

What I like most about the program is meeting and working with all the great volunteers. I enjoy their eagerness to help and sharing their feelings of accomplishment afterwards. I love being able to share with them some of the interesting history of Mount Hope Cemetery. I like that each month we’ve established relationships with some people who become regular volunteers.

The following chart describes the areas that they restored and the hours invested in improving Mount Hope in 2021. A grand total of 558 hours! (460 from community volunteers and 98 from Board Members):

2021 2nd Sat Volunteer Hours

The dedication and hard work of our volunteer crews and our leadership team are given joyfully as part of our mission to restore Mount Hope.

We understand the challenges of a municipality maintaining a historic cemetery, and on this page, we will continue to share our 2021 restoration accomplishments, and how they add up to our annual financial gift to the City of Rochester. One of our 2022 goals is to educate our new mayor and city council members of our ongoing work to promote, restore, and educate citizens everywhere of the incredible importance of Mount Hope Cemetery in the history of Rochester and the United States.

After all, Mount Hope Cemetery belongs to us all!

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