Peachland memorial benches to stay flower free

District policy states that memorial benches on Beach Avenue should remain without floral adornment.

Peachland council voted against a proposal that would allow memorial bench buyers an option to add a self-watering planter or a pair of mounted sconces, earlier this week.

District policy states that memorial benches on Beach Avenue should remain  without floral adornment.

Self-watering planters are available from the district at a cost of nearly $600.

The council meeting also marked the end of one woman’s ongoing homage to her daughter Ashlee Hyatt, who was killed in Peachland six years ago this summer.

Charrie Fichter’s flowers were being removed and that’s when she learned she was contravening a bench policy. In response she proposed the sconces option, so she’d be able to continue adorning her daughter’s memorial bench with bouquets.

Now that the proposal has been denied,  she’s been told she has two weeks to remove all flowers from the space.

“I change the flowers in the corners all the time and I go there to celebrate Ashlee on the anniversary of her death and her birthday,” said Fichter.

“This decision feels like a personal attack.”

In response to council’s decision, Charrie’s daughter Brooklyn started an online petition in hopes that council would revisit their decision.

Overnight she gained 400 signatures.

“Ever since I was young it has been a way of coping for my family and keeping my sisters name alive,” she writes on the petition site.

“I know lots of people who go down there just to sit with her and hangout there. My mom takes very good care of the bench and it means a lot to me and my family.”

To see the petition go to https://www.change.org/p/everyone-allow-flowers-on-ashlee-hyatt-s-memorial-bench