Family fed up with illegal dumping near historic cemetery in southeast Houston

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – A Houston-area family said they’ve been left to clean up after illegal dumpers on a property near a sacred cemetery for years.

Tanya Moore grew up on the land near Sunbeam and Vasser St. near Sunnyside. She recalls running down the dirt road as a young girl.

Now, Moore can barely walk down the road without being greeted by piles of trash.

“I remember as a kid growing up, that the dumping was part of where we would go to play and find toys... that kind of thing,” she said. “It was still a nuisance then and our parents would always complain to the city.”

Mail, large furniture and even city of Houston trash bins have all been abandoned at the site.

Moore said people have been illegally dumping on the property for years, and along nearby ditches, despite signs warning against dumping.

Moore said several bodies have also been left there.

“With it being unmanaged or unmanned and unsupervised, it’s open to anyone that wants to come and dump. So, it’s a free for all,” she said.

Moore said the land is sacred ground for her family.

“This originally was Gleason Ranch,” she said. “It was purchased in 1904 by my grandfather James Davis.”

Moore said the family’s home and church were once there. The family cemetery is still standing at the end of the trashed road beyond a metal fence. The grave markers and headstones are now all towered by tall grass.  The fence to the gravesite was broken, according to Moore.

“If there’s anything positive that’s come out of it, (it’s that) there isn’t any dumping inside the cemetery,” she said.

But just outside the cemetery’s gates are three abandoned boats.

Moore said her family is planning to gather rakes and trash bags to rally together and clean what they can. She anticipates they will need to raise funds to get the proper equipment to remove the larger items.

“We don’t have the supplies and we don’t have the things because it goes, if you look, it goes all the way back. There are mattresses and dressers and whatever they want to get rid of, and we have to clean it up,” Moore said.

Moore said she thinks cameras and imposing fines may stop the illegal dumping.

District D has several illegal dumping signs that threaten 30 days in jail and a $4,000 fine if perpetrators are caught.

If you would like to donate to Moore’s Cemetery Rally Fundraiser click here.