November 22, 2016

Charity Offers To Buy VA Property To Save Old Trees


Burr Oak  - Leigh DeNoon

Burr Oak

Leigh DeNoon

INDIANAPOLIS - Upset with the prospect of losing trees estimated to be 300 to 500 years old, the Laura Hare Charitable Trust has made an offer for nearly 15 acres the VA acquired last year from Crown Hill Cemetery.

Dr. Lenore Tedesco is chairperson of the Trust. “We’ve offered to purchase it at the appraised value and we’re also willing to talk to them about helping to relieve some of the costs that they put into - the efforts they’ve already put into the design of the parcel,” Tedesco says.

The Trust contacted congressional representatives prior to approaching the VA. “We’ve been reaching out to Andre Carson’s office and Senator Donnelly’s office," Tedesco says. "They’re aware of the offer. We spoke with them ahead of time, asked for their assistance to make sure messages were getting to the right people," she says.

Tedesco believes the VA will be able to find a different, suitable cemetery site, possibly still within Crown Hill -- and save the old growth woods. If allowed to purchase the property, Tedesco says the Trust would open it to the public and create a passive recreation area.

The VA acknowledges the inquiry by the Trust and is reviewing the offer. In a statement, the VA says the location of this columbarium national cemetery at Crown Hill Cemetery will provide a convenient burial option to over 250,000 Veterans and eligible family members who reside in the Indianapolis area.

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