Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Only in Takoma Park (And That's Not a Good Thing)

Takoma Park is actually considering a public scatter garden, and that's a bad thing.

The city even devoted space in the city newsletter to the idea, writing:
"When one characterizes the typical Takoma Park resident, two of the key attributes that come to mind are loyalty to the city and a commitment to the earth."
That's odd - I'm embarrassed by the city and think that city residents, although well intentioned, are often anti-environmentalists in their land use policies.

Anyway, the article goes on to explain that a scatter garden is a place to scatter someone's cremated remains and erect a memorial to the deceased.  The article then states:
"Scatter gardens are common, but are found exclusively within existing cemeteries or churches. What makes the proposed Takoma Park scatter garden unique is that it would be free-standing and located on city-owned land.
“We have done a lot of research and talked with someone from the Cremation Association of America, and we have not found an example of one being started by a municipality for its residents,” Beman White said. “In fact the association was very excited about the proposition and wants us to keep them informed on how it works out.” Baker believes the proposed scatter garden is “in keeping with the city’s tradition of being nontraditional.”"
Of course, scatter gardens are located within existing cemeteries, and no municipality has ever created one.  Why in the world would a locality willingly incur the liability and land use issues that such a garden would inevitably cause?  How could the city ever change the use of the property when loved ones inevitably protest that it dishonors the memory and remains of the deceased?  Don't these people realize these issues are the reason we have designated cemeteries in the first place?

Anyway, the Commemoration Committee is on board, so that's more reason to get rid of that committee.

1 comment:

  1. What about individuals randomly scattering remains on their own? That is ok in Maryland. So she is merely proposing a common area to do so. I am unaware of any health/environment issues associated with that.

    I suspect the skatepark is a greater liability.