As California’s historic drought continues to suck the state dry, residents and businesses from across the state are looking for ways to minimize their water intake. Even cemeteries are joining in the effort, with several of them experimenting with a variety of methods to keep their grounds attractive and presentable while also reducing how much water they consume.
The small, but historic Savannah Memorial Park in Rosemead is a prime example. The oldest nonsectarian cemetery in the southern half of the state has recently implemented an advanced approach to water conservation on its property in the dense urban area of eastern Los Angeles County: they’ve stopped watering plants, removed grass entirely, planted native drought-proof fauna, and began providing free mulch across the city. The museum’s many city-donated trees also cover the ground in shade which, in turn, helps retain more moisture.
According to a Savannah board member by the name of Beverly Morton, the cemetery has set its goal of water use consumption at an ambitious 60% reduction. “No other cemetery in California is even attempting to do this,” she said. “They usually let the grass die and the weeds take over.”
Another cemetery, the Rose Mills Memorial park, is also looking to reduce its water consumption with the coal of using 100% recycled water as opposed to fresh water by the year 2015. “Cemeteries have always been looked at as a place where there’s a lot of water being used,” Rose Hills spokesman Nicky Clark said.
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