Cemetery Clean-up has Begun

Information reprinted with permission of the Courier Times, local newspaper New Castle, Indiana www.thecouriertimes.com

Cemetery clean-up has begun

Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 6:00 am

Families paying their respects this week at South Mound and West Lawn cemeteries in New Castle shouldn’t be alarmed if they see city employees clearing flowers off gravesites.

Crews began cleaning up old flowers and weathered grave adornments Monday.

New Castle’s ordinances regarding South Mound and West Lawn state no items can be placed on the ground surrounding the gravesite foundations between April 1 and Nov. 30, which is considered the cemetery’s mowing season.

The first week of April has been set aside for grounds clean up for as long as cemetery superintendent Dan Denney can remember.

“Everything that’s on the ground has to come up so we can mow,” Denney said.

Large banners have hung on the cemetery fence and gates for two weeks letting visitors and passersby know about the annual clean up efforts. 

Denney said this advanced notice should give families plenty of time to collect any special memorial pieces they don’t want disposed of.

The clean up efforts are designed to help keep the cemeteries looking nice, while also continuing to respect the families who use them. 

The only items permitted during the mowing season shall include vases that are integral to the monument and placed on the monument foundation, monument saddles and small statues permanently affixed to the concrete foundation or memorial base.

“We don’t bother anything that’s on the stones or foundation,” Denney said.

Memory lights are permitted during the mowing season, as long as the lights made of metal and are placed on the ground as close to the base of the monument as possible so as not to restrict or hinder mowing. 

City code does allow families to place flowers, decorations or a shepherd’s hook on the ground in front of gravesites two days before Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. All the decorations need to be picked up no later than two days following the holiday, or they will be removed by city employees.

Flowers and decorations may also be placed on the ground two calendar days before Memorial Day and shall be removed by the owners not later than seven days following Memorial Day.

Grave blankets are allowed on New Castle gravesites between Nov. 30 and March 1.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the New Castle city cemetery clean up efforts can contact Denney’s office at 765-529-7605.

Community cemetery clean ups may also take place during the annual Day of Caring that the Henry County United Fund organizers each fall.