Rocky View County council approved the Commemorative Program policy at its regular meeting, Sept. 7.
The program will allow the public to purchase commemorative items as a memorial for loved ones or to celebrate life events, such as a birth or accomplishment.
“I think the public as a whole will benefit,” said Rocky View County Cemetery Services Supervisor Greg Van Soest. “We have seen success stories in other municipalities, especially provincial and national parks. It is a great opportunity.”
County staff will offer a catalogue with a variety of commemorative items such as park benches, picnic tables bicycle racks and planting boxes, available for purchase. The items will then become the property of Rocky View County and will be installed in parks and cemeteries.
“We want them in a place that is secure and in highly visible locations,” said Van Soest. “The beauty of the Commemorative Program is that you have the ability to include a commemorative plaque stating who the item is being dedicated to.”
According to Van Soest, the items will be like those found in city parks, while the materials placed in cemeteries will likely be more ornate.
“For municipal parks we are looking at composite materials,” he said.
“They will be appealing and offer a long usable life.”
As part of its program, the County will maintain the commemorative items. Because those who participate in the program will be making a donation to the County, they will be issued a tax receipt.
Although the program, which has been in the planning process for about a year, is in its initial stages, the County is now accepting inquiries from the public.
“I think it (the program) will dovetail nicely with our Parks and Open Space Master Plan,” said Van Soest. “One of the main (benefits) is offering amenities to recreational users in our open parks and spaces.