Hope Cemetery is a 125-acre jewel hidden in the middle of downtown Kennebunk. It is more than a cemetery: It is a cultural, historic and environmental resource that provides accessible open space to Kennebunk residents and visitors.

Hope Cemetery emulates the park character of cemetery designs of the 1800s and early 1900s. As a landscape architect, I appreciate the value of the cemetery and the significance of its historical design, influenced by early landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

These cemeteries were designed for public enjoyment in a parklike setting and used as early public open spaces. Conservation of the 72-acre Hope Woods property within the cemetery, with over 2 miles of maintained trails, will provide a significant public benefit and will provide for sustainability of Hope Cemetery as a private cemetery long into the future as a public asset that is important to the community. Vote “yes” on Question 2 on the Kennebunk ballot for Hope Woods.

Robert B. Metcalf