Work continues on the new cemetery on 20th Avenue SE, with completion expected about a year from now.
Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, informed city council recently that prep work will be done on the site over the summer, with the hope of adding irrigation and landscaping in the fall.
“We hope to have burials in the spring – that’s the game plan right now,” he said.
The master plan for the site located on the former rifle range land, includes leaving more than half the trees intact and selectively logging the rest so that burial areas, some with upright and some with flat markers, are ‘carved into’ groves of trees.
Along with an entry way, a formal ‘great lawn’ area would be created for holding memorials and ceremonies. Plans also encompass an opportunity for public art, footpaths and a columbaria wall.
The new cemetery will accommodate the wish of 71 per cent of people in Salmon Arm surveyed to be cremated, as well as more traditional burials and what are called ‘green’ burials.
Such environmentally friendly burials include different levels of ‘greenness,’ with the minimum requirements including a biodegradable coffin, no embalming and no grave liner.