Pensacola Area Cemetery Team (PACT)
The mission of the Pensacola Area Cemetery Team (PACT) is to promote local historic cemetery preservation through and interdisciplinary approach to education and training and by fostering an informed stewardship base.
The Magnolia/AME Zion cemeteries, co-located in the 1200 block of North A Street, were established at the turn of the 20th century and serve as an important physical reflection of Pensacola’s African-American community from the early 1900s through the 1980s. Unfortunately, in recent decades, the cemeteries had not been actively maintained and fell into disrepair.
With the ownership of the sites unclear, Mayor Hayward worked with the University of West Florida to develop a plan of action. That partnership expanded to include the Escambia County Property Appraiser's office, non-profits like Keep Pensacola Beautiful, and area residents, who have united to undertake several cleanup efforts. As a result of these combined efforts, the cemeteries are in much better shape while all stakeholders work to develop a plan to keep the cemeteries maintained on a long-term basis.
"The City may not have the resources to maintain a private cemetery like Magnolia, but I saw this as an opportunity to take the lead in finding a solution. I reached out to UWF President Judy Bense, and together, we were able to leverage the resources across our community to make a difference at a minimal cost to taxpayers. The government can’t solve every problem on its own, but I’m hoping that this partnership will serve as a model for dealing with even the most challenging problems."
- Mayor Ashton Hayward
Following this initial partnership, the Pensacola Area Cemetery Team (PACT) was organized in late 2013 to help identify and address issues associated with historic cemetery resources located within the city limits of Pensacola. UWF has a long-standing commitment to community service and is pleased to assist the City of Pensacola in promoting historic cemetery preservation.
PACT is composed of professionals in the fields of archaeology, history, historic preservation, municipal government, landscape maintenance, and law. PACT will offer public talks, workshops, and one-on-one sessions with local steward groups, and will produce a comprehensive historic cemetery resource manual for use by municipal government and private stewardship groups.
For additional information, please contact the UWF Archaeology Institute at 850-474-3015