There are 16 cemeteries maintained throughout the City of Portland; the majority of them not having had a burial in years. The cemeteries are maintained by a crew of five full-time employees supplemented by seasonal help in the spring. Two cemeteries, Evergreen and Forest City, remain active with an average yearly total of 300 burials.
Cemeteries as Parks & Open Spaces
Although cemeteries today are often viewed as strictly a repository for the dead, they have traditionally also been used as a public park.
Paths & Trails
The historic relationship for cemeteries and open space is quite strong, and Evergreen Cemetery is a great example of this relationship. An extensive network of country lanes, paved roads, wooded trails, and greenscapes invite the exploration of the cemetery on bike, foot, and cross-country ski. At the far end of the developed cemetery, the ponds are a favorite spot for picnics. As the largest open space in Portland, the cemetery attracts a rich variety of avian life. Maine Audubon utilizes Evergreen Cemetery and its undeveloped woods for annual bird watching excursions.
Open to the Public
Cemetery grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day, except for November to April when they close at 4:30 p.m.
Guidelines for Recreational Use of Cemetery Grounds
Utilizing cemeteries for quiet recreation is encouraged by the City of Portland; however, we request your respectful consideration and use:
Limit recreational use to walking, cross-country skiing, and jogging.
Please take ball, Frisbee, and other games to another park location.
Leave flowers, trees, and other plants for the enjoyment of others.
Carry-in, carry-out trash
In active cemeteries, such as Evergreen and Forest City, please be mindful of funeral services. Quietly and respectfully conduct your leisure in another part of the cemetery grounds.
Treat gravestones with care and encourage children to do so as well; many are quite old and fragile.