Agassiz’s Valley View Cemetery could potentially have a new cremation garden to allow for more residents to be interred in the local cemetery. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Agassiz’s Valley View Cemetery could potentially have a new cremation garden to allow for more residents to be interred in the local cemetery. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Kent to look into designs for ‘cremation garden’ in Valley View Cemetery

The district will be working with a planner to develop a plan for the future of the cemetery

Valley View Cemetery is filling up faster than the District of Kent anticipated, and the municipality will be looking at how it can maximize capacity at the cemetery to make sure future generations of residents can be buried there.

In 2016, Kent hired the planner Lees and Associates to review the capacity for Valley View Cemetery. Their report found that the cemetery had about 38 years before it sold all of its casket lots, but only five years before it ran out of room for cremations.

RELATED: Agassiz changes cemetery rates for locals

However, the District of Kent found that it is actually filling up its cemetery space faster than Lees and Associates had anticipated back in 2016.

In a report to Kent council Monday (March 22), staff said they have begun to look at a plan for how they could create more space in the cemetery, including installing a columbarium (a building or room with spaces where cremated remains can be stored) and creating a scatter garden at the south end of the cemetery.

After discussions with other cemeteries, staff said they were advised to get professional help in developing a design to make that happen.

RELATED: Breathing new life into a cemetery

“Due to the sensitivity and finite details of working with people who have lost a loved one, the design, location and capacity of a columbarium and scatter garden is extremely important and requires industry expertise,” the report reads.

Kent staff reached out to Lees and Associates to get a quote for developing a design for the cemetery. The company said it would cost $4,950 for the design of a “cremation garden,” centered around one or more columbaria, and a capacity review.

The district has set aside $50,000 in its 2021 capital budget for the expansion of its cemetery services, including a columbarium.

Once Lees and Associates develops a draft design for the cremation garden, staff will report back to council for input and approval.

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