Cemetery Maintenance & More
If you don't do anything else, when you order a piece of equipment, be sure you get an hour meter on it. That way there's no question when it's time for service. It's not 653 hours, it's not 651, it's 652.
Since our cemetery is located in a community with a lot of agriculture-related products and byproducts, it's easy for us to get compost. You do not want to use beef cattle manure—way, way too high in salts. If you can get dairy cow manure or horse manure, make that into compost. Shred it, mix it with soil.
When we built an island in our lake, my friend in the monument business and I said, "Scattering garden—common ossuary."
We started with one memorialization tablet and since then have had to add two wings. I never in the world thought we would have that kind of acceptance, but it's gone over very nicely.
You can do anything you want to make an ossuary. I've seen one where they excavated out to put in a poly tank; all of the cremated remains are put right in that tank. Folks know that there's comingling of the remains.
We have a disclaimer that says there is a possibility of comingling, but with the island, you can have a honeycomb design and have the remains of 20,000 people on it without the chance of comingling.
About swans: People love them, but unless you want trouble with a capital T, do not get males—they're very aggressive. And if you're thinking about getting swans in to control geese, forget it. One year the geese took over the swans' nest.
This article compiled from an address presented by the author at the 2006 ICFA Annual Convention