There is a Growing Need For Memorial Gardens
Cremations in the USA are on a remarkable incline right now. It’s estimated that the number of cremations has risen from 25% of deaths in 2000 to 49% of deaths in 2015. Combine this with the rapid filling of cemeteries in many localities, and a problem arises. There is a growing need for memorial gardens for scattering ashes.
Solving the problem
According to The Times-Picayune, Jennifer Beman of Takoma Park, Maryland wants to be a part of meeting that need. Her approach echoes that of solutions to needs caused by other burial methods. She is seeking help from her local government. Beman has petitioned her city government to create a first-of-its-kind municipal scatter garden.
Many cities and towns have municipal cemeteries to try to maintain order and provide adequate space for burial. Beman believes that this same provision should be made for those who have been cremated as well.
Why a scatter garden?
The sharp rise in cremations has created a bit of a vacuum. People are trying to figure out the best ways to honor and remember their loved ones. Some prefer scattering ashes over water, like lakes, ponds, rivers, or even oceans.
Beman finds that this is a very meaningful expression, but is more short-term. It’s hard to return to the “spot” where the ashes were scattered if it was on a large body of water. A garden, particularly an easy to reach, community oriented municipal garden would be a much better solution.
Making the change
Beman has begun collecting signatures on a petition to the Takoma Park public works department. So far, the council members seem open to the idea. Logistics are now being worked out and Beman is even mapping out potential locations.
Beman and her recently formed advocacy group have even started a website and produced a video to help raise funds. They estimate they need to raise $10,000-$50,000 to get the project secured.