Cemetery Upkeep

The City of Rawlins has noticed that there is confusion and concerns about cemetery maintenance, so we would like to share some information which clarifies what is done and why.

Per City Ordinance 8.04.010 through 8.04.120, all items added to the headstone must be removed within 15 days. Per ordinance, no items may be placed which are not either secured to the headstone or placed into a vase permanently installed on the monument. In order to keep our cemetery maintained and attractive for all, the Green Spaces Department does a significant clean-up before Memorial Day and in the fall. However, annually, starting 15 days after Memorial Day, we also do routine cleaning. We start at 15 days after Memorial Day to allow individuals to place items temporarily beyond the scope of the ordinance over Memorial Day. The routine cleaning will remove items that do not meet one of the following two criteria to allow us to effectively maintain all 40 acres and comply with the current ordinance.

  • Items which are securely attached to the headstone and are not unsightly
  • Items placed into a vase that is a permanent installation of the monument and that are not unsightly

The City of Rawlins did place announcements on Facebook, in the newspaper and have coverage through Bigfoot 99 before the Memorial Day clean-up. However, this may not have made it clear about ongoing cleaning. In the future we will include the reminder in the advertisements placed before Memorial Day as well as doing a reminder on our Facebook page immediately prior to the 15 day timeline.

The Green Spaces staff is currently working in the cemetery. As they reach monuments, they will be complying with the ordinance and removing items which do not meet the criteria above. As a general reminder, the ordinance states:

  • No plants, trees, shrubs or live flowers shall be planted upon any lot in the cemetery without prior approval of the cemetery sexton.
  • Freshly cut and artificial flowers, sprays, wreaths and flags may only be attached to monuments or placed in vases or containers within the monument or their base and must be removed within 15 days.
  • Specifically forbidden, whether temporary or permanent, is any container made of glass, porcelain, or pottery.
  • Vases and statues shall be installed with a base and foundation or shall be permanently installed as a part of the monument.
  • No coping, curbing, hedging, borders, fencing or enclosure of any kind shall be installed on any lot.

When securing items or placing them in the vases, please keep in mind that we are a high wind area. Items often blow away from the original monument if they are not firmly secured.

If you would like to see this or any other city ordinance changed, you are always welcome to present your idea to the City Manager or the relevant department head. They will bring it before Council in a timely manner. Citizens may also attend City Council meetings held on the first and third Tuesday of the month at City Hall: 521 W. Cedar and address the Council directly during Citizen’s Participation.

Feedback can also be given to the city in two ways. This can be feedback concerning the maintenance of the cemetery or about a specific plot. Concerns can be submitted via the City Website under “Report a Concern”. Any concern which does not fall into the available categories can be submitted to Community Relations under General Concerns. Feedback can also be written and dropped off at the Finance office in City Hall at 521 W. Cedar, for delivery to the relevant departments. It can also be mailed to City of Rawlins, Community Relations Coordinator, PO Box 953, Rawlins, WY 82301. Please include name and phone number so that we can follow-up with you.

For more information on the ordinances or general cemetery questions, please refer to the Cemetery Division page on our website at http://rawlinswy.org/135/Cemetery-Division. You can also contact Mira Miller, City of Rawlins Community Relations Coordinator, at 307-328-4500 ext. 1022.