Mount Garibaldi Cemetery Master Plan

Background
The District’s cemetery (Mount Garibaldi Cemetery on Government Road) is approaching capacity for some services.  Currently the Mount Garibaldi Cemetery utilizes approximately 1/3 of the property, with the remaining 2/3 forested. The District initiated its first ever Cemetery Master Planning exercise near the end of 2018 to provide guidance in planning, design and financial aspects of further cemetery development. 

Project Information 
The consultant Urban Systems has been engaged to develop the Cemetery Master Plan. District staff from multiple service areas are engaged in the Master Plan process – Public Works, Parks, Planning, Engineering, and Records Management. The Cemetery Master Plan is currently in draft form. Staff anticipate bringing the draft forward for Council endorsement in early-to-mid 2020, together with a corresponding Fees and Charges Bylaw amendment.

The Cemetery Master Plan reviews population growth and mortality rate projections, and methods of interment to determine proportions of residents that are likely to require interment in the cemetery. The Cemetery Master Plan reviews operational costs of providing cemetery services and means by which costs are recovered. The Master Plan makes recommendations to the District related to the future phased development of the cemetery in terms of services offered, fees that are charged, and site planning.

Expanded Interment Services
Squamish currently offers full burial and cremation in in-ground plots. Squamish Funeral Chapel (SFC) offers columbarium niches for cremated remains (cremains) and memorial book inscriptions located within the cemetery. Cremation as a choice is increasingly preferred over full burial, accounting for 85% of all dispositions. 

In other communities, options for interment in cemeteries and memorial gardens have expanded over time. As part of the Mount Garibaldi Cemetery improvements, green burial and scattering garden are proposed as new interment options.

  • Scattering Garden – A “scattering garden” is a designated area in a cemetery where cremated remains are placed directly in the ground, with the name inscribed on a communal plaque. Families may choose to “scatter” all or a portion of their loved one's remains in a cemetery scattering garden.
  • Green Burial - Green burial is seen as a more natural and environmentally-friendly interment option that is increasingly provided as an option in cemeteries. The body is not embalmed and is placed in a biodegradable shroud or casket without a liner or vault. Often natural vegetation (trees, shrubs, meadow plants) are planted above and the area is allowed to naturalize. Commemoration can be on a communal marker. 

Survey
A community survey is being undertaken to gauge interest for increased interment options. The survey is available to the public from March 12 to April 12, 2020. Please help us by filling in the survey. Thanks!