The Mountain View Historic Cemetery is expanding, and the municipality is seeking public input to guide the project.
The 14-acre cemetery, located at the corner of Drinkwater Road and Somenos Road, is nearing capacity and the municipality plans to expand into a new area of the property that is more than half the size of the existing cemetery.
Keona Wiley, parks and trails manager for North Cowichan, said a master plan for the expansion of the cemetery into the new area is being developed and includes the possibility of providing other options for burial.
“Trends are changing and people are expressing an interest in other forms of burial, including green burials [in which unembalmed remains are placed in a biodegradable shroud or box in the ground, and the surface is planted and allowed to naturalize],” she says.
“We want to know how many people want other services like this, as well as their thoughts on other issues, so we’re conducting an online survey and holding an open day on September 22.”
Wiley said North Cowichan is also interested in hearing people’s views on offering cremation niches and scatter gardens, in which cremated remains are placed directly into the ground, in the new section of the cemetery.
Mountain View Cemetery was founded by the Methodist Church in 1878, transferred to the United Church in 1926, and then became North Cowichan property in 1962.
The cemetery, which is considered an important community asset that reflects the history and unique rural community of North Cowichan, offers impressive and breathtaking views of Mount Prevost and Mount Sicker, as well as many other surrounding mountains.
The Master Plan and Survey, which runs until October 4, can be found by following the links on www.connectnorthcowichan.ca/cemetery.
The open house will be held at the cemetery, located at 6493 Somenos Road, on September 22 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Wiley said the municipality expects its final report on expansion plans to be completed by the end of November.
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