The historic Mountain View cemetery is expanding, and the municipality wants input from the public to help guide the project.
The 14-acre cemetery, located on the corner of Drinkwater Road and Somenos Road, is almost at capacity and the municipality is planning on expanding into a new area of the property that is more than half the size of the existing cemetery.
Keona Wiley, North Cowichan’s manager of parks and trails, said a master plan for the expansion of the cemetery into the new area is in development, and it includes the possibility of offering other options for interment.
“Trends are changing and people are expressing an interest in other forms of burial, including green burials [in which unembalmed remains are placed in a biodegradable shroud or box in the ground, and the surface is planted and allowed to naturalize],” she said.
“We want to know how many people are interested in having other services like this provided, as well as gathering their thoughts on other issues, so we’re conducting an online survey and are holding an open house on Sept. 22.”
Wiley said North Cowichan also wants people’s opinions of offering cremation niches and scattering gardens, in which cremated remains are placed directly in the ground, in the new section of the cemetery.
Mountain View Cemetery was founded by the Methodist Church in 1878, was transferred to the United Church in 1926 and then became the property of North Cowichan in 1962.
The cemetery, which is considered an important community asset that captures the history and unique rural community of North Cowichan, has impressive and expansive views of Mount Prevost and Mount Sicker, along with many other surrounding mountains.
The master plan and survey, which runs until Oct. 4, can be found by following the links at www.connectnorthcowichan.ca/cemetery.
The open house will be held at the cemetery, located at 6493 Somenos Rd., on Sept. 22 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Wiley said the municipality expects to have its final report completed on the expansion plans by the end of November.