Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Beat the winter heat

Patrick Lewis,
Grounds Manager,
Sunset Memorial Park
Here in Illinois, when we have an average temperature of 50 degrees in December, we don’t tend to be too upset about the mild weather. However, when Mother Nature has her months confused, it changes the daily routine of our cemetery grounds crew.

If you are also experiencing unseasonably warm weather, you know what I mean. The roads might not need plowing, but the ground becomes very soft. The warmer temperatures mean we’re seeing dandelions sprout – in December!

So what are we doing at Sunset Memorial Park to beat the winter heat?
  • Be patient and grateful. The weather won’t last forever, and it was so much easier for families to visit their loved ones’ graves this holiday season.  
  • Use different resources. Our snow plows and snow throwers are still parked in the garage, but we’re using a lot of plywood to protect the grass as we move our heavy cemetery equipment. Just like during a wet spring, the plywood helps prevent the equipment from sinking or causing ruts in the grass. 
  • Plan for spring. Grave blankets are usually nestled in the snow above the frozen ground. But this year, the grass hasn’t yet gone dormant, and we’re seeing signs of it dying underneath the evergreen. We’re already planning to do more reseeding as soon as they are removed in the spring.
We all know that the weather can be unpredictable, but it takes just a few small changes in your daily maintenance routine to adjust.

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 http://www.trigard.com/thursdays.

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