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The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department manages five historic municipal cemeteries, Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery, Plummers Cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, and Oakwood Annex Cemetery.  We are entrusted by the families and decendants to care for these sacred places, and the cemeteries are indelible and essential parts of the neighborhoods in which they reside.  The department is embarking on a public process to update the Cemetery Rules and develop a plan for enforcement.

Cemetery Master Plan

City of Austin Cemeteries Page

Cemetery Rules Report

Topic: Practices

What religious and/or cultural practices do you have that relate to grave ornamentation?  What is appropriate grave ornamentation that respects the practices of others?

1 Responses

Sharon Weintraub 6 months ago

In the Jewish tradition, a visitor places a stone on the grave rather than flowers, signifying the permanence of memory and love. The stones are not to be removed and over time they become part of the decoration of the grave site. The graves of my niece, father, and mother has been visited hundreds of times by family and friends; the colorful and diverse pile of stones that now cover part of their graves demonstrate all the lives they touched and show that they are still loved and remembered. Prohibiting the placement of stones on grave sites would discriminate against this religious tradition. The park has long provided a birdbath in the Jewish section that is kept full of stones for those visiting the graves. Yet, under PARD's long-neglected cemetery regulations, both the stones and the birdbath would be barred.

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