Green Cemetery Maintenance
Cemetery maintenance can be complicated. This is especially true if you want a green cemetery. To achieve that, cemetery owners must consider a variety of ways to smartly use available resources. For example, because we are in an area that is threatened by drought we have to be water-wise. In other cities and towns, other green landscape options will be different.
Take for example, at the Charlotte Cemetery in Vermont. There greener choices include the use of livestock to keep the town’s oldest cemetery free of overgrowth.
Sheep are shy and gentle animals. That’s what makes them an ideal choice according to Stephen Brooks of the Cemetery Commission. Although the grass will not be as neat and organized as it may have been with a lawn mower, the four-legged friends trim the grass and that keeps extra clean up down to a minimum.
Brooks reported that taking care of the sheep needs, including waste, is a minimal task. For them it’s worth the effort.
This green method has become popular among the green-minded community members. It also provides graveside visitors with something interesting to watch.
However, this may not be the solution for all cemeteries. Larger cemeteries with less vegetation may not benefit from the sheep because the number of sheep or goats, if so inclined, required to do the job might be overwhelming. Ballard Family Cemetery in North Carolina, for example, tried this solution and reported that it would have made more sense to hire a landscaper due to the lack of overgrowth.
In the long run, a green cemetery can really help cut municipal expenses costs like gasoline and electricity for equipment. It can also build community with local sheep farmers that results in a ‘truly’ pastoral setting.
We believe that keeping the grounds well maintained should be a priority for our families.