2023 – A Year in Review at Woodlawn Memorial Park

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It seems, within a blink of an eye, another year has come and gone. As we sit back and take a moment to reflect, we’re reminded that we have had the honour and privilege to service many families this year and have also experienced some memorable accomplishments. We are so grateful as we prepare for 2024 and new chapters ahead.

2023 Accomplishments & Highlights

1. A New Digital Records Management System

We started off the year by introducing a new software for records management, that has allowed us to view and manage records much faster and more effectively. It was a learning curve as Woodlawn Memorial Park, which dates back to 1854, used a paper and card record system up until the recent switch! It will take our team time to transfer our historic records to the new system, and we are working hard to make this a reality. We are happy to be able to better serve our families with this update, as all new contracts and services will be easily viewed.

A key component will be the “Ever After” site that will allow members of the community to easily gather information on a loved one as to where they are resting for Genealogy. We assist with many Genealogy requests throughout the year.

2. New Uniforms and Mowers

Our grounds team got a whole new look this year! Gone are the bright orange construction-looking uniforms, and here to stay are the professional Woodlawn Memorial Park colours. It allows our team to subtly blend in and be a part of gatherings when their assistance is needed. They wear the new uniforms with pride on the park grounds and while attending graveside services with families.

We also added a new zero turn riding mower. The addition of a second zero turn mower has allowed us to reduce our cutting time significantly. The design of these machines also assists in navigating many of our tighter areas a lot smoother. This allows us to keep our grounds looking beautiful and well-maintained for our families and the community.

3. Notable Events

Every year we run a variety of events on our grounds and 2023 was no exception! Our dedicated team is kept busy year round ensuring the grounds are looking great for every event we host. This year we were honoured to be a recipient of the first project provided by the Guelph Tree Trust. In the early spring, an arborist completed maintenance for our magnificent old Black Walnut tree here at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

Following in May, we hosted our “Kisses to Heaven” event in celebration of Mother’s Day and to honour Mothers everywhere. In June, we hosted our Classic Car Night where we celebrated fathers where they were able to share their stories. Finishing off the year in November, we held our annual Remembrance Day Service to honour all Veterans who sacrificed so much.

4. Park Updates

Our team is continuously working on the grounds to ensure it’s a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy. This year, they have been working on removing existing benches that have lived long past their natural life cycle. We are introducing our Dedication Bench Program where families can take part and donate a bench in honour of their loved one and help replace our grounds with new ones that all visitors can enjoy. We have many benches still available that families can participate in.

5. New Team Member

A photo of Becca, a new team member at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

This year has been a year of growth for our team. We had the opportunity of welcoming a new member to our office team. Rebecca (known as Becca), warmly welcomes our families, as she is the first face everyone sees when entering our office. She assists with Families Services as well as administration duties. Before joining our team, Becca previously worked at a Cemetery in Lindsay, ON, where she completed data entry and assisted with many different requests needed to support the team. She is a History graduate from the University of Guelph and loves to review historic records. She has a love for her cat and enjoys listening to podcasts, and we’re so happy to have Becca as part of our Woodlawn Team.

6. Arbor Fund

Our Arbor Fund plays a big role here at Woodlawn, as we are well known for our Arboretum that provides much shade and beauty to our cemetery. This year we had 17 trees that came down for various reasons either due to age, disease or weather. With the help of donations to the Arbor Fund, we are able to maintain and plant new seedlings to replace our lost trees. We invite you to give to the Arbor Fund to support these efforts. Any donation of $125.00 or more qualify for a leaf on the Tree of Remembrance on display in our office!

Looking Forward Into 2024

An aerial photo of Woodlawn Memorial Park.

Our General Manager, Rebecca Kit, has been diligently working on the Woodlawn Memorial Expansion project. The excitement is building as the planning and mapping are underway in addition to city application and permits. We are excited to be putting all this time and energy into building a new space! This space will allow for more families to have a place for their loved one to rest, offer new, unique cremation options, as well as burial options in our green space. All details are still in the making but our General Manager Rebecca is happy to announce that in spring 2024 construction begins!

Join our newsletter to stay connected and updated with all new developments and offerings to come.

Wishing You A Wonderful Holiday Season

A photo of Woodlawn Memorial Park in winter.

At this time of year, things begin to slow down on our grounds as well as our office. The season changes and plantings become dormant. Our grounds become a little quieter, with our warm-weather walkers staying indoors, as does our office with less regular greetings and inquiries.

We take this time as an opportunity to reflect on all the families we have served, how we can prepare for the new year, and all our accomplishments as a team.

From our team here at Woodlawn Memorial Park we wish you, your family and friends a Happy Holiday season and look forward to seeing you around our grounds in the new year.

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A black and white photograph of William (Bill) Bleach.