Landscape Restoration and Management Program

If large cemeteries and landscapes need revitalization and enhancement, once the history of a site has been documented and surveyed, a professional landscape firm or restoration landscape architect should be consulted to assist in a landscape restoration plan. Such an effort might need further surveys to develop plant or tree inventories. Typical components of such a plan would promote the following:

  • stabilization of existing resources
  • recommendations for improvements and enhancements of important historic features of the landscape in a prioritized manner (including built components)
  • planning new landscapes associated with future cemetery components
  • a phased implementation plan for all work
  • and a maintenance manual to assure that the cemetery continues to be well maintained over time

Planning phases might include

Phase I: Stabilize and enhance existing resources

  • Reinforce and preserve historic vistas
  • Retain and enhance vista corridors
  • Retain existing open spaces
  • Retain, enhance, recognize botanic or historic trails
  • Review all circulation patterns for best current usage
  • Review fencing, drainage, irrigation systems
  • Prepare planting lists of native and historic plantings
  • Use historic plantings to inform new plantings
  • Identify zones of strategic plantings
  • Screen objectionable views with buffer plantings
  • Use vegetation to define the character of an area
  • Enhance existing trees, shrubs, and grasses
  • Create tree and shrub management and planting plan
  • Prepare plant lists, trail signage for the public

Phase II: Recommendations for incremental improvements to the historic landscape

Phase III: Long-term restoration of historic features and establishment of new plantings for new cemetery components

Management or Maintenance Programs

Management programs can be developed by landscape professionals for all natural components of a cemetery or interconnected built areas such as paths and roadways. The same type of management or maintenance program can be prepared by architects for buildings, mausoleums, and masonry walls. Stone and metal conservators can prepare similar documents for grave markers, monuments, statuary, and metal markers or fencing in a cemetery. These manuals identify scheduled and prioritized maintenance procedures from the routine daily or weekly needs to those that might need professional assistance once a year in order to keep all components of a cemetery well maintained and appealing to the public. Maintenance manuals are extremely helpful in identifying annual expenses related to staff or contractor time, equipment, or materials. They can also help project costs of future capital expenses of all cemetery components. Professionals versed in the cemetery's history should prepare such management or maintenance programs.

For instance, a Tree and Shrub Management Plan would include a list of the predominant plant materials of the site; methods for routine inspection and monitoring (especially new plantings); reasons, directives, and timing for mulching; tree pruning for deciduous and evergreens (a licensed arborist is recommended); shrub pruning for deciduous and evergreens; and watering, fertilizing, pest control, and winter protection. Monthly calendars of tasks to be accomplished can be prepared to assure that no task is overlooked.