Pine Forest United Methodist Church Cemetery
What do you do when a property was designed before cars were around? Because the cemetery grounds were originally designed in the late 1800s and predate the advent of the automobile, the property was not configured in such a way that it would properly accommodate vehicular traffic. It was also given little consideration regarding long-term maintenance. As a result of its problematic layout, only minimal maintenance was performed over the course of many years. Among the overall goals of the project was to provide easily maintained and aesthetically pleasing landscaping with plantings, turf, and an irrigation system that would accommodate the size of the property.
Bringing things up to modern day standards. Designing a plan for vehicular access was a critical component in alleviating the challenges presented by the cemetery’s property, as was creating more useable space and minimizing ongoing maintenance expenses while making necessary repairs and updating the visual appeal of the landscape. Fencing had fallen into disrepair and needed to be replaced, significant erosion required grading and leveling, and the overgrown property needed to be manicured and refreshed.
Prior planning prevents poor performance. After the client hired the team at Executive Landscaping, Inc. to take on the project, we consulted a surveyor to produce a detailed rendering of every headstone, marker, tree, building, and feature within the property line to determine a fully accurate layout that would allow a more precise plan for the project.
Because all cemetery plots were either occupied or reserved, we realized that the only way to gain additional useable space for remains was to build a columbarium and create an area for the structure on the property. Designed with space enough for more than 250 niches, the circular brick columbarium became the focal point of the project and more than doubled the size of the cemetery. Measurements needed to be exact, as the actual niche housing was created off-site, then disassembled and re-assembled at the build site. Footers and wall measurements could not vary more than 1/8-inch throughout. Our precise measurements ensured perfect construction, and the columbarium was fully constructed and installed in two days.
In order to repair the erosion and prevent further damage, the grade was raised approximately five feet to achieve a more level site and reduce run-off; and a segmental retainer wall was installed across the back property line. To retain storm water while avoiding the appearance of a retention pond, we also graded the area adjacent to the wall and created a very broad, wide, and shallow depression.
Rather than using asphalt or concrete to create vehicular access to the primary areas of the cemetery, pavers were chosen for their durability and their ability to reduce storm water run-off. To reduce cost, compacted limestone screenings were used in construction of the secondary areas.
As a solution to one of the greatest ongoing challenges of tight mowing spaces, green steel edging was used to frame in the areas around and between the headstones and markers. We then in-filled with compacted limestone screenings, creating more straight lines that minimized the need for mowing and line trimming.
The old chain link fence running along the back and sides of the property was replaced with new, black vinyl-coated chain link fencing; and black aluminum gates, new fencing, and decorative brick columns were installed across the front to create a more appealing entrance and approach to the cemetery’s property.
An Executive Masterpiece. Through the reconfiguration of the landscape, the property allowed greater vehicular access to properly accommodate the flow of traffic through the grounds. The long-term maintenance issue was alleviated through incorporation of newly planted turf and foliage, the installation of an irrigation system and hardscaping in addition to cleaning up the overgrown landscaping. New fencing added aesthetic appeal as well as true definition to the property lines. To accommodate more remains, a columbarium was specially built and installed on a dedicated area of the grounds. It is now a peaceful, beautiful place for loved ones to visit.
Every property deserves to be an Executive Masterpiece! Call the experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc., for an estimate on your very own Executive Masterpiece today!