The Grounds

There is a sense of peace and serenity that surrounds you as you wander through Elmwood Cemetery’s 43 acres. The magnificent trees, the gently curving roadways, the impressive memorials all add to create a sense of history and tranquility that few other places in Kansas City can offer.

August R. Meyer sought the services of George Kessler to create the master plan for Elmwood Cemetery after having worked with him to design what became Kansas City’s world-renowned parks and boulevard system as well as the grounds of his own lovely home, “Marburg.” Today we know this home as Vanderslice Hall on the campus of the Kansas City Art Institute.

The fact that Elmwood feels like a park is not an accident. Cemeteries created during this era were the forerunners of the parks we enjoy today. Families would visit cemeteries not only to pay their respects to their loved ones, but also to enjoy picnics and social events. We hope that our visitors can enjoy Elmwood today in the same manner as Kansas Citians have for more than a century.

In conjunction with the Community Forestry Program of the Missouri Department of Conservation, a tree inventory was completed in October 2022 by arborist Molly Gosnell. Elmwood has a total of 327 trees in the mowed areas of the cemetery. 79% of the trees are deciduous species and 21% are evergreen species. The majority of the trees are large and mature, with only 7% being less than six inches in diameter. This information is helping Elmwood create a master plan for tree replacement and maintenance over the next 10 years. In November 2023, Elmwood Cemetery was granted Level 1 Arboretum status. You can explore an interactive map of Elmwood’s trees by clicking on the button below.