Woodlawn Memorial Park’s Annual Cleanup FAQs

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Woodlawn Memorial Park in Guelph strives to meet the needs of every family whose loved one rests here. How each of us expresses our grief following the loss of someone dear is different, and that’s why cemeteries represent different things to different people. Some choose to visit daily, others visit sporadically, and some only return when another loss occurs. No way is right or wrong, and no two people take the same path on their grief journey.

At Woodlawn, we recognize that expressions of love and care are different. A single rose, a beautiful floral display, a small trinket, a letter – all are tokens of remembrance and have great meaning to the person who left them in memory of their loved one. All of these tokens are wonderful, but we do ask that they be removed in preparation for the changing season.

As you begin to remove these tokens in anticipation of the annual cleanup, here are some answers to frequently asked questions you might have.

What is the Annual Cleanup?

Just as homeowners have things to do around their homes in the spring and the fall to prepare their yard and home for the changing seasons, the staff at Woodlawn Memorial Park does the same with our Spring Cleanup and Fall Housekeeping. The cleanup allows us to keep the cemetery beautiful and safe.

How Often Do Cleanups Happen?

Many of Woodlawn’s families are very engaged, returning on a regular basis to keep their lot decorations and expressions of love tidy and refreshed. In an effort to maintain the beautification of the cemetery, Woodlawn has two cleanup periods every year– once every spring and fall.

What Items Do You Remove During the Cleanup?

The cleanup provides an opportunity to tidy up abandoned or damaged items and ensures lot decorations are within season.

We give advance notice of the cleanup period via our email newsletter and on signs posted around the cemetery. This notification period gives families an opportunity to remove their lot decorations themselves. Items can be returned to the lot in the future, provided they adhere to cemetery bylaws. The cemetery staff will remove any remaining decorations for disposal.  

Do You Dispose of Decorations Immediately?

Disposal does not take place immediately. All items removed during the cleanup time are placed in Block Lilac, on the hillside of our shop compound for a few weeks (weather permitting), to give more opportunity for families to retrieve a treasure they may have forgotten. After a few weeks, we will dispose of the remaining items.

When Can I Place Items Back On A Lot?

Once the designated cleanup period has expired, visitors are welcome to express their love by placing seasonally appropriate decorations that are in keeping with the cemetery bylaws.

Do Certain Lots Have Different Bylaws?

We provide a copy of the cemetery bylaws to each contact upon service, but this information is not always shared with family or friends. Some regulations are specific to certain blocks of the cemetery, while others apply to the cemetery as a whole. For example, columbarium walls do not permit the attachment of embellishments, with the exception of approved bronze wreaths and scrolls.  

The Cremation Lawn and designated Flat Marker areas do not permit private flowerbeds, trees, shrubs, or flower containers. In these areas, there are landscaped gardens in place.

Fresh cut flowers without containers may be left on any lot, at any time of the year, and are regularly removed by cemetery staff. Artificial flowers and wreaths may be placed on graves from November 1st to Easter weekend. On a regular basis, cemetery staff may remove items that do not comply with the bylaws, regardless of the time of year. Please contact our office to find out what is permitted in a specific area of the cemetery.

I Can’t Remove My Items Prior To Cleanup. What Should I Do?

Families are responsible for tidying up their lots and to turn down their vases for the winter months. Reach out to family or a friend if they can assist on your behalf.

How Can I Stay Up-To-Date On Important News At Woodlawn Memorial Park, Like the Seasonal Cleanups?

The best way to keep up-to-date with important news and dates at Woodlawn Memorial Park is to subscribe to our newsletter. To subscribe, click here.

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Old black and white photo of the Woodlawn Memorial Park front gatesSweet Memories honey jars stacked up