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Explainer: What you need to know about leaving flowers at Mount Garibaldi Cemetery

Items may only be placed on the headstone between Nov. 1 and March 31 to coincide with annual District cemetery maintenance.

When you visit a loved one at Mount Garibaldi Cemetery, Squamish’s municipally-operated graveyard on Government Road, did you ever wonder about the guidelines around leaving ornamentation, such as flowers?

The District’s Mount Garibaldi Cemetery Ornamentation and Plantings Policy outlines protocols and best practices for those who visit the cemetery to tend to graves and honour memories of those who have died.

Here are some of the highlights of the policy:

 •Temporary ornamentation accompanying funeral services may be left on the grave's surface outside of the marker — headstone — for up to two weeks after a funeral or until the ornaments have significantly deteriorated, which is at the discretion of the cemetery caretaker.

•Grave ornamentations are decorative objects such as cut flowers, potted plants and small mementos such as statues and angels.

•These items may only be placed on the grave marker between Nov. 1 and March 31 to coincide with annual cemetery maintenance. 

The Bylaw permits the placement of grave ornamentations if objects: 

•Do not present a hazard to cemetery workers or the public

•Are not damaged or deteriorated

•Are only placed on the surface of grave markers and bases and not on the grave’s surface outside of the marker and base, other than approved vases purchased from the District of Squamish

•Loose items, lanterns and items made from glass, ceramic, rock or metal, and perishable items are not permitted. 

“It’s worth noting that due to the intricate nature of the site, maintenance cannot be achieved unless flowers and other grave adornments are regularly removed,” District spokesperson Rachel Boguski told The Squamish Chief in an emailed statement.

“The District takes pride in maintaining the cemetery grounds to a standard that reflects its importance, which requires regular removal of items around gravesites during the summer months. Public Works staff are sensitive and respectful when doing this work, and approach the removal of larger items with sensitivity and care. Any items removed are placed to one side of the cemetery for a one-week period for collection.”