Kennesaw City Cemetery will be a hub for community activity and a destination for tourists if all goes to plan.
The strategic plan to promote the historic location was developed by the Atlanta Regional Commission with input from the Kennesaw Cemetery Commission and the planning and zoning department.
The city council gave its approval Monday.
According to the final version of the document, “many cities are attempting to reactivate historic cemeteries as green space to learn about local history and culture, exercise, hold events and honor the graves.” It cites Decatur City and Oakland cemeteries as case studies because of the “depth and diversity of activities,” such as guided tours, scavenger hunts, concerts, yoga, Veterans Day events and 5K races.
The plan suggests creating at least two new programs within the next five years. Possibilities include yoga or a fun run, a juried art competition, stargazing, concerts or a lecture series. Kennesaw would be eligible to apply for cost-covering grants through the Historic Preservation Fund and other organizations.
The cemetery isn’t the only place residents will be seeing changes. The council also approved the public art master plan, which was created by the Art & Culture Commission to integrate art into public spaces.
In 2015, Bob Fox, director of economic development, approached Kennesaw State University to collaborate on a functional art project. The sculptural benches, designed by Megan Pace and Thomas Daniel, were installed along the walkway to the Southern Museum and at City Hall in 2017.
The city plans to continue its relationship with the university and develop more partners in the effort to bring more art to the city’s parks, trails, business centers and roadsides.
One public survey revealed murals are the No. 1 type of art residents would like to see.
“We’re coming up with a punch list of things that we want to focus on,” said Clemens Bak, the commissioner of the Kennesaw Art & Culture Commission. “The idea is not for us to be the carrier of this thing, but make sure that people understand that we want to set the framework for all the activities we’re trying to do.”