Cemetery Criticized for Mowing Bluebonnets

Mowing was a maintenance issue, says board

Mowing bluebonnets may not be a crime, but some people are upset that a cemetery in Decatur mowed the wildflowers that had been growing there for more than 30 years.

Melinda Reeves, who has family buried at Oaklawn Cemetery, said she couldn't believe crews had mowed down the bluebonnets.

"It's just sad. Like I've said, I've cried," she said.

Reeves, a former high school principal, said people would always come to the cemetery around Easter to see the flowers and visit loved ones buried in the cemetery.

Gene Blagg, president of the Decatur Cemetery Board, told NBC 5 the decision to mow the wildflowers was made after some people complained about the overgrowth. Letting the flowers and other plants grow became a maintenance issue, he said.

"It's not that we don't like the bluebonnets," Blagg said.

But Reeves said that is not good enough.

She recently seeded the plot of grass where her mother and father are buried. She was starting to see some flowers pop up a few weeks ago.

"I had four little bluebonnets coming up on their plot, and I came out here -- that's why I'm here, just drove through -- and they're gone." she said, holding back tears. "They meant a lot to my parents who are out here in the grave now."

Reeves said she wishes she could have told the board how beautiful the flowers were to counteract the complaints.

Mowing or picking bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas, is not against state law.

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