People often think that Brooks Baker’s workplace is quiet and serene.
After all, it’s Greenwood Cemetery.
But Baker, who is the sexton, finds himself busy with plans that include a cremation garden for Wellington’s cemetery. “It’s an exciting time,” he said. “It’s something that we’ve talked about for years and years.”
The first order of business will be tearing down a large, old wooden house called Trails End, which sits at the northwest corner of the property.
Once the building is demolished, work can begin on the crematory garden, which could have first stages complete in several years’ time.
“This will be the next big project we do out here,” Baker said. Crematory gardens are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people opt against traditional burials. Outdoor crematory gardens look like sculptured walls.
“It’s similar to a wall where they have niches that pull out and that is where the ashes are contained,” said village councilwoman Helen Dronsfield, who sits on the cemetery board. “That project would be done in stages and the first part would be a few thousand dollars.”
Village council’s public works committee gave the OK for Baker to check with inspectors who would review the property for asbestos and other health hazards. Once Baker gets the information, the cemetery board can move ahead with plans to safely demolish the structure.
The village public works department will likely be dismantling the structure, depending on the outcome of the inspector’s report. The cemetery board will pay for the cost of the dumpsters.
Baker said space is becoming limited in some areas of the cemetery from traditional burials.
The crematory garden is “a necessity,” he said. “We have so many options for burials and this is something new and people are asking questions about it.”
Catherine Gabe can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @ReporterGabe on Twitter.
Photos by Catherine Gabe | Wellington Enterprise Brooks Baker, sexton at Wellington’s Greenwood Cemetery, stands in front of Trails End, an old wooden home that must be torn down before a crematory garden can be built.