With spring arrived, Cemetery Operations staff in Chatham-Kent say it’s time to remove seasonal and artificial items on cemetery lots.

Cemetery Operations is beginning to tidy up municipal cemeteries for the spring/summer season.

Interment rights holders and cemetery visitors are reminded that any Christmas/winter floral arrangements, artificial flowers placed on the ground, or wreaths are to be removed by April 1.

Any unclaimed items left on lots after April 1 will be removed and discarded to allow access for maintenance equipment and grass cutting crews.

Personal items cannot be left on the ground as they become a hazard to visitors and prevent proper maintenance to be completed.

The cemetery is not responsible for damage to any items that are left on lots, in accordance with Cemetery By-law 38-2016.

Seeding and leveling of interment sites will commence as weather and ground conditions permit.

Maintenance staff will be working hard to repair the grounds.

“Due to the harsh winter, there are numerous ruts and low graves that need to be filled,” Cemetery Operations staff said in a press release.

“These areas will be a priority to our staff as the ground dries up and tractors are able to access sections in need of topsoil and seed. There are numerous graves that were opened during the fall and winter to be addressed in the coming weeks.”

Visitors are reminded to refrain from placing artificial/silk flowers on or in the ground during spring/summer months because they become caught in mowers and leave debris throughout the cemetery, Cemetery Operations staff say.

“Only artificial flowers in monument saddles are permitted. Mulched flower beds can extend up to 12” in front of upright monuments. Flower beds cannot be placed behind monuments. Any planting of shrubs must be pre-approved with the cemetery office. As per the cemetery by-laws, crushed stones, tiles, border fences, cement blocks, or statues are not permitted in flower beds on cemetery lots and the cemetery will not be responsible for damage caused to these prohibited items at any time.”

Cemetery Operations staff added: “Thank you for your assistance and patience as we work to repair the grounds this spring. Should you have any questions or would like a copy of the Cemetery By-Law, please feel welcome to contact the Cemetery office at 519-360-1998.”