The City of Vernon is reminding residents that changes to Pleasant Valley Cemetery regarding floral tributes and other memorial items will soon take place.
The changes, said the city in a release, “align with the operation practices of many cemeteries across B.C. and Canada, and take into consideration the safety of the public, cemetery caretakers, maintenance operations and environmental impacts.”
“The City of Vernon understands and respects the need for families to honour loved ones through the placement of offerings at gravesites,” said the city in its release. “This is part of the grieving and healing process.”
The tributes are welcome within the regulations and guidelines highlighted below, and which are common in many other communities:
• March 15 to Oct. 15: only fresh-cut floral arrangements may be placed on plots;
• Oct. 16 to March 14: potted plants, wreaths, artificial floral arrangements, and seasonal floral tributes may be placed on plots;
• All floral arrangements must be placed in approved tribute holders;
• Non-floral items (trinkets) placed at an interment site – including but not limited to ceramics, statuary, frames, photographs, glass, boxes, shells, toys, wire screens, baskets or stands – are not permitted on plots and will be respectfully removed;
• In regard to funeral flowers, any type of floral tribute is permitted on the day of the service and for a period of seven days following the interment.
The city recognizes that many artificial or non-floral tributes are currently placed at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery. To provide time for families to visit the cemetery and collect items they wish to keep, a grace period is in effect until March 14, 2023, to remove items that are no longer permitted on gravesites.
After March 14, 2023, in accordance with the bylaw, all items that are no longer permitted will be respectfully removed.
The city will also provide public notice each spring and fall, to remind residents of the types of items that may be placed on plots throughout the season.
For more information, visit vernon.ca/cemetery.