Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, with its lush 478 acres of open space, has been an increasingly popular destination for New Yorkers desperate for a break from their apartments during coronavirus social distancing. The cemetery expanded access for the public in response, keeping all four entrances open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. But like other green destinations, from Domino Park to Hudson River Park, Green-Wood has at times proven too popular, and on Friday the cemetery's president, Richard J. Moylan, issued a "stern warning" to visitors.

"It’s very difficult for me to send this email," Moylan wrote in an email to Green-Wood's subscriber list. "The conduct of a small percentage of our visitors has created an unacceptable situation. If things don’t change, we may be left with no choice but to close our gates as many other cemeteries have done." The email continued:

"We all need open space, a connection to nature, and a place for serenity. Thousands of you have come to visit. We’ve been delighted to welcome you. But some of our visitors have behaved very badly. They have brought their dogs. They've ridden bikes. Their kids have climbed trees. They've taken flowers that had been placed on graves. None of these actions is appropriate or permitted. Green-Wood is a cemetery. It is an arboretum, and a place of tranquility. Families come to visit the graves of their loved ones. It is not a public park. It is a not a place of recreation."

Moylan's message concluded with a call for volunteers to serve as "ambassadors" to fan out throughout the cemetery to make sure visitors were adhering to social distancing rules.

On Saturday, as temperatures rose into the 70s, photographer Scott Lynch visited Green-Wood to document the scene. From what he observed, the "stern warning" appears to have gotten through to most visitors.

"Green-Wood Cemetery certainly had more visitors than usual, but except for two small parties of picnickers, everyone was using the space properly, just wandering around mostly on paths or sitting in respectful spots (i.e. not on top of graves)," Lynch reports. "The grass is so thick and soft too, it's really tempting!"

Cemetery spokesperson Colleen Roche said 120 people have volunteered to be Green-Wood ambassadors to "help to ensure that social distancing protocols are followed. We expect everyone who visits Green-Wood to respect the rules which include no jogging, running, cycling, and picnicking, as well as a strict adherence to social distancing protocols."

If you're planning a visit, Roche urges you to familiarize yourself with the rules here.