Evergreen Cemetery Association, Brainerd, recently held its annual meeting and election with the re-election of three to the nine-member board. Duane Blanck, Robert Tusler and Laurie Hall will continue for three-year terms. John Boeder, Don Crust, Conrad Bye, John Krueger, John Van Essen and Frederick Casey fill out the board membership.
Karen Lentz, executive director, identified some activities of the past year which included filing the permanent care and investment annual report, purchase of a computer with upgraded software and working with volunteers. Other areas included the grounds department working with Superintendent Rusty Billman. Main topics were burial site work, identifying tree/tree stumps for removal and repairing monuments.
Lentz stated a mapping project is in process.
“At present, only the original plats are publicly available to locate gravesites. Evergreen cemetery has three additions dating back to 1879. With volunteer help, the updated maps will show gravesites where roads and parks were vacated,” Lentz said. “It is a tedious job that takes a considerable amount of time. When completed, finding a gravesite will be much easier.”
Lentz attended the Minnesota Association of Cemeteries conference last fall which presented several talks and discussions relating to burials and memorialization of cremated bodies.
The Finance Committee reported revenues and expenses are in line with the budget for the year. The columbarium purchase was paid for by funds on hand and the landscaping around it will be paid for out of the Donations Fund.
The Grounds Committee reported there were no major equipment issues this year. The budget, along with help from the donations fund, was adequate to purchase one tractor mower, one walk-behind mower and two weed trimmers. The committee and staff were pleased to work with an Eagle Scout candidate whose project was to study the best way to clean monuments and organize approximately 40 volunteers who cleaned over 400 markers.
The Policy and Procedures and Website Committees proposed a number of policies that were adopted by the board. Additional information was added to the cemetery website, www.brainerd.net/~evergreencem, making it a valuable source of information on the cemetery and those buried there.
A major step forward in the past year was the addition of a columbarium at Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The columbarium provides above ground niches for the placement of cremated bodies. Association President John Boeder stated: “The number of cremations is growing significantly and choosing an appropriate form of memorization is important. The new columbarium at Memorial Gardens provides an excellent way to preserve memories.”