The South Jersey Catholic Cemeteries’ Garden Permit Program for is now open for all of their cemeteries, including the Gate of Heaven’s Cemetery in Berlin and St. Joseph’s Cemetery & Mausoleum in Blackwood. The Garden Permit Program allows for the annual planting of flowers in front of monument markers giving family members the ability to care for the final resting place of their loved ones. These gardens will be allowed under controlled circumstances and only where the spacing of the monuments allows for access of equipment.
Upon application, review and approval cemetery staff will install borders within one week but not before March 21. The planting season will continue with final cleanup and removal of borders to occur on or around October 1 each year. If families wish to recover items from the grave, they must remove the items from the grave by October 1. Items left after October 1 may be disposed of by cemetery staff.
Families are permitted to plant annuals and place objects within the boundary of the border installed. Families must still respect the sacred environment by refraining from placing anything that may be offensive to Catholic teachings. The border may not be moved or replaced by anyone other than cemetery staff.
Under normal landscaping activity items within the border will not be moved or impacted. However, items within the border may be moved for access of burial equipment to other graves in the vicinity. Cemetery staff will replace objects within the border once it is put back in place, but take no responsibility for emulating the layout of objects that were disturbed.
The cemetery takes no responsibility for objects and plantings that are removed or affected by visitors to the cemetery. Families are encouraged to refrain from placing objects of value or that cannot be easily replaced.
To apply for a permit, visit https://southjerseycatholiccemeteries.org/garden-permit-program-begins-march-22-sign-up-now/.