Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bikers to help clear away trees at Spring Hill Cemetery

BROOKSVILLE — For Alyce Walker, any help to improve conditions at the Spring Hill Cemetery is appreciated.

The longtime caretaker considers it a godsend that members of a local motorcycle group have offered to bring muscle and equipment to help clear away dozens of downed trees in the historic African-American graveyard.

Dan Spell, vice president of the Freedom Chapter of ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education), a statewide bikers rights group, said this week that he first heard about Walker's ongoing efforts to maintain the cemetery when he read a St. Petersburg Times story last year about an incident involving the theft of a skull by two Ridge Manor teens.

When he read another Times story about Walker's struggles to find help clearing away the trees that were felled by volunteers to make way for the installation of security lights, he was eager to lend a hand.

"She's been through so much already," Spell said. "I felt we could do something to help her out."

After visiting the cemetery off Fort Dade Avenue last week, Spell said he and club chaplain Buzz Boyd began calling other members who have trucks, chain saws and heavy equipment.

So far, about a dozen members have signed up for a scheduled cleanup at about 9:30 a.m. Feb. 27, and Spell expects to get commitments from more members.

Other community groups should consider pitching in as well, Spell said.

"The more people we get, the easier it's going to be to finish," he said.

Walker, who has overseen the cemetery since 1991, said she was overwhelmed by the club's offer to help clear away the trees, which were taken down late last year at her request by friends who had little experience in doing such work.

The cut trees damaged several grave sites and a wooden fence surrounding the cemetery.

Walker said she has no money to pay a professional tree company to cut up and haul off the trees.

Walker said that once the trees are removed, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative workers will install security lighting that she hopes will thwart the vandalism and late-night parties that have been going on for years.

"Right now, you never know what you're going to find when you drive through the gate," she said. "It shouldn't be that way. No one should ever have to be afraid to go to a cemetery to visit their loved ones."

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

Anyone wishing to help with the ABATE Freedom Chapter cleanup, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 27, should contact Dan Spell at (352) 597-0664 or Buzz Boyd at (352) 650-0534 or (352) 799-1165.


Want to help?

To help with the ABATE Freedom Chapter cleanup, which will begin at about 9:30 a.m. Feb. 27, call Dan Spell at (352) 597-0664 or Buzz Boyd at (352) 650-0534 or (352) 799-1165.

Bikers to help clear away trees at Spring Hill Cemetery 02/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2010 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: 'Channel Zero: No-End House' pumps up the prestige horror


    In its second season, Channel Zero cements itself as one of the scariest shows on television.

    Amy Forsyth in Channel Zero: No-End House.
  2. Utilities face barrage of questions as power returns to Tampa Bay


    Nearly all of Tampa Bay has electricity again a week after Hurricane Irma shredded the power grid, but elected officials here say the problem is far from solved.

    Duke Energy's Scott Crellin (right) works to cut tree limbs from a power line along S Pinellas Avenue as apprentice lineman Nick Ceccarini looks on Sept. 11, the day after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times]
  3. Yep, 2017 hurricane season really is more intense than normal


    It was only 25 days ago that Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

    A handout satellite image from Sept. 8, 2017, of, from left, Tropical Storm Katia, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose, which would intensify into a hurricane. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active. There have been 13 named storms this year. Only four other seasons since 1995 have had that many by Sept. 18. [NASA/NOAA GOES Project via the New York Times]
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.

    Photo illustration RON BORRESEN, Photo by Warner Brothers, Photo by SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Members of the Florida Bjorkestra rehearse, Monday, 3/13/17, at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg for their upcoming concert. In the foreground is percussionist Joe Coyle.

Sarah Michelle Gellar