Our grounds team works extra hard to prepare a gravesite for a burial during the winter. A Lot of organization is required, and preparation for a single winter burial can take up to 4 hours.
Read on to see our crew preparing for winter interments at Woodlawn Memorial Park.
Pre-planning The Grave Site
Our team will get started 1-2 days before a scheduled burial date by looking at the location and any variables such as snowfall and ground frost.
Clearing Snow From The Site
Depending on the location of the burial, our team will complete an assessment to determine entry points to the gravesite. If there is snow on the ground, we will use our snowblower to clear the area in order to allow our vault trucks and other machinery to come through, and to ensure the safety of the funeral home representatives and funeral attendees.
Locating Lot Pins To Ensure Measurements
Once the area is cleared of snow, our team will search for the corner pins of a lot. These pins are used as markers to identify the outline of each lot. The pins are quite small, so they get covered by grass and snow and can be hard to dig out of the frozen ground. Once the pins are located, our team will use axes to get through the frost and create a string around the site, using spray paint to ensure the interment site is clearly identifiable.
Breaking Through The Frost
Once the burial site is lined up and measured, our team’s next step is to set up their digging equipment, including a breaker head that is able to dig through ground frost.
After this, we drive to the site and begin breaking up the ground within the outlined space, removing dirt, and working to loosen up the earth to get below the frost line. Once this has been completed, our team will change out the equipment to remove the remaining soil.
Finishing Steps And Day Of Service
Once the space has been completely dug out, we will cover the opening with wood planks and a tarp, and mark it with pylons to ensure safety.
On the day of service, if a vault or liner is being used, the vault company will deliver and install it into the grave. The lid will be placed nearby for our team to install once the service is complete.
Next, our team will dress the site with green and cocoa mats to help with slippery conditions. The cocoa mats will also be placed along the site to the road to help guide the Funeral Directors and attendees to the correct location. A sign will also be placed by the roadside to help guide traffic and avoid any confusion if there is more than one service taking place that day.
Once the service is over, our team will finish preparing for the winter interment by closing up and tidying the site. All winter burial locations will be revisited in the spring and topped up with soil and seed to promote grass growth.
At Woodlawn Memorial Park, we take great pride in our services, including preparing for winter interments. Serving our families is the most important to us. If you have questions about our services, procedures, or you would like more information on burial locations and availability, please contact our office so we can assist you.