Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Does your cemetery have an animal mascot?

By Patrick Lewis
Do you have a cemetery “pet?” Do you have an animal that utilizes your cemetery grounds as their permanent place of residence and acts as the ambassador or mascot? Many cemetery grounds are also the homes to a number of different types of animals, but a favorite of mine is the swan.

At Sunset Memorial Park in Danville, Illinois, two swans, by the names of Joe and Nellie, have taken up residency in our pond for many, many years. These beautiful birds and their home have become something of a community treasure, which attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year.

But, why would you want to have this type of animal living on your grounds? Why is it beneficial to have animals, such as swans, living on your cemetery grounds?
  1. They bring attention to your cemetery. We are always looking for reasons for members of the community to visit our cemetery other than to honor a lost loved one. When you have animals living on your grounds, they attract people from all over.
  2. They make it more like a park. Our cemetery is beautiful. Our horticulturists and ground crew do a really great job of landscaping, but the swans are the stars of the show. They create a different atmosphere and make our cemetery feel more like a park than a cemetery. 
  3. They help begin the healing journey. All types of animals, including dogs, cats, horses and birds, are known for their healing capabilities. They provide a safe and neutral environment to process grief to those healing from a loss. 
If you would like to learn more about Sunset Memorial Parks’ swans, visit us at

This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

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