Spanish Fork Cemetery
The Spanish Fork Cemetery is a 32-acre green space in the heart of the City with over 12,000 headstones. The cemetery has been a final resting place since the first burial in 1853. The cemetery was officially established in 1868 with the design and formation of blocks one through four.
Shepherd Hook Policy
Currently, the cemetery decoration policy states that one (1) Shepherd Hook (vertical structure) is allowed for each burial position. Shepherd Hooks and vertical structures are currently allowed all year long.
Beginning June 7, Spanish Fork City will allow the use of shepherd hooks and vertical structures for decorations the week of Memorial Day and from November 1 - March 1 only. Shepherd hooks & vertical structures will not be allowed during the lawn maintenance season (June 7 - October 31).
New Policy FAQs
What are the provisions for the policy?
Subject to the following provisions and beginning June 7, 2021, shepherd hooks and vertical structures are allowed in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery from November 1 through March 1. They are not allowed March 2 through November 30, with the exception of the Wednesday before Memorial Day through the Sunday following Memorial Day.
- Only one (1) Shepherd Hook (vertical structure) is allowed for each burial position.
- Shepherd hooks must be installed touching the concrete border. Where no concrete border is present the shepherd hook must be installed touching the headstone. The shepherd hooks cannot be permanently installed in concrete.
- No portion of the shepherd hook or attached decorations can extend outside the boundary of the headstone or concrete border. The hook must be turned into the headstone to avoid injury to patrons or workers passing by.
- No shepherd hook or item hanging from the shepherd hook can exceed six feet in height from the ground elevation.
- Shepherd hooks are subject to removal and reinstallation if they obstruct or hinder equipment access for burials or cemetery maintenance.
- Placement of shepherd hooks not in accordance with this policy will result in the removal and disposal by Cemetery staff.
Why is this change being made?
The change is being made for a variety of reasons, including staff and patron safety, landscape maintenance, equipment safety, burial conflicts, and overall appearance
What are the safety concerns?
Coming into contact with an improperly placed shepherd hook has caused multiple injuries to employees and patrons, including scratches to the face and arms and falls from tripping over them.
This summer a cemetery employee was injured on a shepherd hook while line trimming around headstones. After striking a shepherd hook and falling, the employee injured their shoulder and hip. This preventable injury could cost the city a substantial amount in medical/workers compensation bills.
What are the landscape maintenance concerns?
The City Cemetery has 22.5 acres which are mowed and trimmed weekly. The property has over 12,500 headstones. Without obstructions by shepherd hooks and other decorations stuck in the grass, each headstone can be line trimmed in approximately 10 seconds.
Shepherd hooks, stuck in the ground, conflict with string trimming adds extra time required to complete the work (20-50 seconds) and leave unmanicured grass. When the concrete border (mowing strip) around the headstone is free of obstructions it provides access to the grass for the mower and line trimmers.
What are the equipment safety concerns?
Smaller shepherd hooks and other misplaced and often non-compliant decorations hidden in the tall grass have punctured mower tires multiple times costing thousands of dollars and hundreds of down-time hours through the years.
What are the burial conflicts?
Approximately 30% of burials require headstones and shepherd hooks to be removed and later replaced to gain equipment access to a gravesite for opening and closing. Shepherd hooks, cemented into the concrete must be cut off at elevation and then reinstalled in a new hole. As the cemetery becomes more congested, equipment access becomes increasingly more difficult.
What are the appearance concerns?
Cemetery policies are intended to provide the facility with the most pleasing and uniform appearance for cemetery patrons. Most patrons do not visit enough to properly maintain the decorations. The cemetery staff typically discards the equivalent of eight to ten 50-gallon cans of trash every day.
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