New decoration restrictions coming to Metro historic cemeteries

New decoration restrictions coming to Metro historic cemeteries »Play Video
The Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in Southeast Portland (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Some of the oldest places around Portland are getting new rules.

New restrictions coming to all 14 historic cemeteries in the Portland Metro area will force some people to change the way they honor their friends and loved ones at their grave sites.

Starting Nov. 1, Metro will allow cemetery decorations like flowers and easels for two weeks after a burial. It will also allow flowers around Memorial Day, artificial flowers during the winter and plantings with written permission.

Toys, vases and other mementos will not be allowed after Nov. 1. Neither will trees, shrubs, plants and temporary grave enclosures like bricks, fencing or stones.

“People that are buried on either side, their families get upset too because they’re not allowed to do the same thing. It’s encroaching on their space,” said Metro Park Ranger Howard Rasmussen.

Metro posted notices in multiple languages around the cemeteries.

“We have to remember that the cemetery is for everyone,” said Metro spokesman Paul Slyman. “It’s for the people that are buried here. It’s also for the people that visit the cemetery. So on our minds there’s safety, respect and responsible care of the cemetery.”

Slyman said the new rules will be gradually enforced across Metro’s 14 cemeteries.