Walk Through Kelowna Legacy Gardens, [Video]

Last month LEES+Associates attended the annual British Columbia Funeral Association (BCFA) Conference and Exhibitor’s Showcase in Kelowna, BC.

While in Kelowna, our staff took the opportunity to visit the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery to check out the more than 150 year old cemetery’s newest section for cremated remains and above ground crypts.

In 2014, LEES+Associates completed a master plan for the cemetery and was retained by the City to assist with the burial expansion strategy outlined in the master plan. Work began in 2016 with the preparation of construction documents for the new area dubbed the Legacy Gardens.

In the video above, Richard Cook walks through a section of the garden; the Legacy Garden area offers columbaria niches and mausolea crypts in a picturesque landscape setting. Visit the project profile page for more on the project.
kelowna legacy gardens

Green Burial Interview with Erik Lees [Audio]

Green Burial Interview with Erik Lees

Earlier this week, Erik Lees joined radio host J’lyn Nye on Edmonton’s 630 CHED to discuss green burial, the growing focus on natural burial practices and more.

Erik, who is a board member of the Green Burial Society of Canada, explained the basic guidelines for green burial and emerging burial trends

Listen to the clip below for the entire discussion.

New Projects: Sparwood Cemetery Master Plan

LEES+Associates is pleased to be working with the District of Sparwood on a cemetery master plan for two cemeteries in the district. When completed, the master plan will provide recommendations for best practices and strategy for future development utilizing current and emerging burial practices.

Ivy Smith and Richard Cook from the team took time in between site visits and meetings during their recent trip to Sparwood to check out the colossal Sparwood Titan Truck, one of the biggest trucks in the world, and an absolute must-see when you’re in the area!

 Sparwood Cemetery Master Plan

 Sparwood Cemetery Master Plan

 Sparwood Cemetery Master Plan

 Sparwood Cemetery Master Plan

A Visit to Bedrock Granite

A visit to Bedrock Granite Stone

In the last few years, LEES + Associates has been working on the planning and design of a new cemetery in western Canada. The cemetery is expected to open in 2019 with the landscape contract slated to go to tender this fall.

The LEES + Associates design team hopes to incorporate basalt pillars and Alberta Sandstone into feature areas of the new cemetery; Madoc Hill and Leila Zeppelin from the team had a great visit to Bedrock Natural Stone last week to select stones for the project.
Here are a few photos from their visit.

Bedrock Granite Stone

Bedrock Granite Stone

Bedrock Granite Stone

Bedrock Granite Stone

Bedrock Granite Stone

Cemetery Space Shortage

Palermo Sign

Palermo Sign

In Palermo it is forbidden to die because there are no more places in the cemeteries.

Our associate Eileen Finn took a photo of this sign on a recent trip to the Sicilian capital of Palermo, it’s a witty yet stark reminder that cemeteries running out space is a worldwide dilemma.

Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery

We couldn’t resist sharing these sunny snowy day shots of the Legacy Gardens at Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.
In 2016, LEES+Associates undertook the preparation of construction documents for this new precinct of the cemetery.

The Legacy Gardens design provides additional cremation niche and mausolea crypt inventory by transforming an existing service road around the Bennett Memorial into a premium cremation garden.

Legacy Gardens at Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legacy Gardens at Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legacy Gardens at Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legacy Gardens at Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: David Gatzke, Cemetery manager, Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery

Cumberland Cemetery Improvements

Implementation of site improvements are now underway at the Village of Cumberland’s historic cemetery!

In 2013, LEES+Associates in collaboration with Outlook Land Design completed the Village’s Cemeteries Master Plan. Since then, the Village has been gradually undertaking projects to restore and enhance its three cemeteries.
New soil, trees, shrubs and irrigation are now in place, and as of last week, work has begun on realigning and resurfacing the site’s roadways. The longer term plan for the Village Cemetery includes creating community gathering area and establishing a green burial section.

Below are a few photos from the site.
Village of Cumberland Cemetery Improvements

Cumberland Cemetery Improvements

Cumberland Cemetery Improvements

Cumberland Cemetery Improvements

Cumberland Cemetery Improvements

‘Looming crisis’ as cemeteries across Canada run out of space

“We’re running out of room because, as I characterize cemeteries, they’re the forgotten landscape, they’re the forgotten land use,” he said. “We’ve managed to, on the whole, build healthy cities with good infrastructure and downtown cores and housing…but we’ve really neglected the importance of remembrance and places of grief and mourning.”

Erik Lees was a guest on CTV News last month to discuss the issue of cemeteries running out of space. Read full article

In related article on the Globe and Mail website, Erik explains that, “as death has become more institutionalized, there has been a disconnect between urban planning and setting aside space for the dead, creating the climate for the current crisis”

What We Do: Cemetery Needs Assessments

Okotoks Cemetery Land Needs Assessments

LEES+Associates has undertaken a range of “Needs Assessments” for communities across Canada. The examined criteria for social need varies significantly in breadth and depth. Generally, our needs assessments have included a comprehensive review of a municipality or region’s expected demand for cemetery and crematorium services over 25 to 50 years and compared it to the available supply and quality of service in the community. Needs assessments are often included within a community business plan or master plan.

York Cemetery Land Needs Assessment

These assessments usually include demographic market research, community engagement and stakeholder workshops, land and inventory site analyses and an implementation plan. They also sometimes include price benchmarking, detailed financial forecasts, a review of governance, marketing strategy and operational policies.

The primary goal of these assessments is to provide a range of recommendations that serve as a guide to site development and chart a path forward that will enhance future service to the community, moving this important social system towards long-term sustainability.

Listed below are recent Cemetery Land Needs Assessments we’ve undertaken –

Town of Okotoks Cemetery Land Needs Assessment
Okotoks, AB

York Region Cemetery Needs Analysis and Policy Framework
York, ON

City of Brandon – Cemetery Expansion Master Plan
Brandon, AB

City of Brandon - Cemetery Expansion Master Plan