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Texas Disaster Response Workshop for Historic Cemeteries


February 5 - February 6, 2018

Houston, TX

| $35

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NCPTT, in partnership with Texas Cultural Emergency Response Alliance (TX-CERA) will offer a hands-on cemetery conservation workshop February 5-6, 2018. The training is targeted to professionals and nonprofessional alike, such as municipal city planners, cemetery managers, church sextons, cemetery grounds workers, and family members. The workshop registration is $35 per person for the two days and limited to 30 people, so please register early. Lunch each day is included in the registration. Registration can be found at Eventbrite.

This two day hands-on workshop will start with morning lectures at the Bradford Taylor Center at Trinity United Methodist Church (2600 Holman St. Houston, TX). After lunch on the first day the workshop will move to the Olivewood Cemetery (1300 Court St. Houston, TX). Topics to be covered in this workshop are;

  • Before the Storm/Disaster Preparedness Plans
  • Safety in Cemeteries and After Disaster Reentry
  • Condition Surveys & Setting Priorities
  • Vegetation Hazards Before the Storm
  • Vegetation Removal
  • Emergency Stabilization of Markers
  • Stone Monument Cleaning
  • Monument Resetting
  • Adhesive Stone Repairs

This workshop is being sponsored by grants from the Texas Cultural Emergency Response Alliance (TX-CERA). Organization is from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Texas Historical Commission, and FEMA.

The Official hotel for the workshop is;
Holiday Inn Express Downtown Houston
1810 Bell Street
Houston, TX 77003


James “Rusty” Brenner is the owner of Texas Cemetery Restoration LLC. Rusty started in the monument preservation business while working at his father’s monument company in Crockett, Texas as a teenager. It was during this time that he fell in love with visiting old cemeteries, photographing old tombstones, and learning about the history of the people who settled this land and made it home. At nineteen years old he decided that someone needed to preserve the beautiful monuments that memorialized our ancestors. And so Texas Cemetery Restoration was born.

Jason Church is a Materials Conservator in the Materials Conservation Program at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (National Park Service) in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Jason divides his time between conducting in-house research, organizing various training events, and teaching hands-on conservation workshops. Since 2005 he has conducted more than 100 lectures and hands-on training sessions for cemetery conservation. He earned his M.F.A. in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design. Jason currently serves as the chair of the Preservation Committee for the Association for Gravestone Studies.

Joe Ferrannini is the proprietor of Grave Stone Matters and a cemetery conservator working with towns, historical societies, cemetery associations, and individuals to conserve their historic gravestones and monuments. He has worked in historic preservation of cemeteries and historic structures since 2003. He received his B.A. in History and Mathematics from State University of New York College at Potsdam in 1988. His specialties include rescuing abandoned cemeteries, assessments, mapping, documentation, resetting stones, repairing damages, in-filling losses, straightening, cleaning, and training workshops. Joe currently serves as the Vice-President of the Association for Gravestone Studies.

Joseph Keefe is the Arborist Representative at Bartlett Tree Experts, works out of the Houston, TX office.Joe has always loved the outdoors expecially trees and when it was time to decide a career path he enrolled in the arboriculture program at University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture. After earning an Associate’s Degree at Stockbridge, Joe went on to graduate with a Bachelors degree in Urban Forestry at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst. As part of his course work, he completed an extended internship with Bartlett. After years of working in the field as a tree climber and plant health technician, Joe set his horizons on Texas where he became an Arborist Representative. Joe specializes in delivering clients custom soil management, insect and disease programs, and drought recovery programs that help their trees thrive. He is a member of the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), and is also an ISA Certified Arborist.


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February 5, 2018 @ 8:30 AM
February 6, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
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Olivewood Cemetery<br /><small>Houston</small>
1300 Court St., Houston, TX United States
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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119