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Changes in effect regarding flowers, trinkets at Vernon cemetery

Loved ones need to remove certain items at Pleasant Valley Cemetery
Artificial floral tributes will only be allowed at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery between Oct. 16 and March 14 under the city’s new cemetery management bylaw. Fresh-cut flowers can be placed on plots between March 15 and Oct. 15, floral tribute holders will only be available to purchase through the city (no private holders) and no trinkets will be allowed to be placed on plots. (Morning Star - file photo)

Changes are being implemented regarding floral tributes and other memorial items at gravesides in Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

Council was given a report about its new cemetery management bylaw, adopted in 2019, at its regular meeting Monday, July 18.

“Administration is proposing that we provide information to the public and help re-enforce a few of the changes that were indicated in the new bylaw as some of these changes have not been fully implemented,” said Kendra Kryszak, manager parks and public spaces in her report to council.

“These changes align with the operation practices of many other cemeteries across British Columbia and Canada, and take into consideration the safety of the public/cemetery caretakers, maintenance operations, and environmental impacts.”

The information will include the following:

• Floral tributes holders will only be available to purchase through the city (no private holders will be permitted);

• Only fresh cut flowers may be placed on plots between March 15 and Oct. 15;

• Potted plants, wreaths and artificial floral tributes will only be allowed between Oct. 16 and March 14, and must be removed by March 14;

• Trinkets will not be permitted on plots at any time.

A new contract was established with a cemetery contractor in 2022 and included these recent bylaw adjustments in the scope of work. Kryszak said administration will be providing information and educational materials to the public on the above changes and allow enough time for loved ones to visit the site and collect any items that are no longer permitted.

Administration will advise all local funeral homes, will install temporary signage at the entrance and will place the information on the city website.

A grace period is being implemented by the city until March 14, 2023 to remove all plastic/silk flowers and trinkets from the site.

“After March 14, our contractor will be removing all items and disposing of them,” said Kryszak.

An information kiosk will be installed in the cemetery this year at the corner of Elm Street and Maple Avenue providing visitors site information, regulations, and a way-finding map.

Renovations and restorations will also occur to the entrance sign, retaining walls along Pleasant Valley Road and the entrance road landscaping.

Staff have also been working on cemetery irrigation drawings and will be updating areas of the cemetery that do not have adequate irrigation. The old system, says Kryszak, has been difficult to operate, wastes water and is inefficient and prone to breakdowns.

Construction on the new irrigation system is expected to begin in 2023.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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