The Friends of Green Lawn (FOG) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization comprised of supporters and friends of the ongoing effort to restore and preserve the cemetery grounds and document its historical and cultural significance to the Chester City region.
Ms. Twyla Simpkins
Founder and Director of the Yes We Can Achievement & Cultural Center (formerly the YWCA Chester), Twyla Simpkins — Ms. T — capitalizes on her varied life experiences and love of Chester, her birth city, to promote social justice and community knowledge through understanding history. Her roles as organizer, collaborator, researcher, and educator span several local initiatives, including the Chester Women Change Makers project, Chester Made, and the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Twyla recounts her Chester journey from childhood, to her career as a teacher at Chester Upland, and her founding of the YES Center in a Chester Made Ms. T.’s Corner post.
Mr. AL Grasty
“Formerly known as Dr. Grasty, I dedicated over 35 years of my life to the noble profession of education, serving as a mathematics teacher and esteemed school administrator. Even in my so-called retirement, I continued to contribute to society, lending my expertise to Westat and the U.S. Census Bureau for an additional decade. Moreover, I had the privilege of raising my beloved granddaughter for over two decades. Throughout this time, I was blessed with a blissful 50-year marriage to an exceptional wife. In July of 2020, I returned to my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, and embarked on a new chapter as a steward at Green Lawn Cemetery. This decision was deeply personal, as many of my cherished family members found their final resting place within its hallowed grounds. Initially, I began by tending to the grass surrounding my dear relatives for a mere hour. However, as I traversed the cemetery, I discovered familiar faces and beloved acquaintances. This realization ignited a profound sense of connection, prompting me to extend my visits to five hours, twice a week. For me, this endeavor is rooted in love, respect, and the desire to give back. In this transformative journey, I have embraced a new identity, simply known as AL. This change has brought me immeasurable joy, for it encapsulates the essence of my purpose at Green Lawn Cemetery. Here, amidst the blades of grass, I find solace, fulfillment, and an unwavering commitment to honoring the memories of those who have departed. With the creation of the Friends of Green Lawn Cemetery, a nonprofit and with a pending 501(c)3 application, we will move the cemetery into the next phase. In addition, we are pursuing ‘receivership’ of the cemetery which will give ‘Friends’ legal/managerial control of the cemetery through a court decree from the Orphan’s Court of Delaware County PA”.
It’s all in the grass at Green Lawn Cemetery.
Ms. Janet Baldwin
For the Chester area African American community, Green Lawn Cemetery acts as an outdoor museum, archive, and library where the African American history of Chester can be shared in the presence of the men and women of the past who lived through these historical events and who themselves made history.