Berlin To Offer Commemorative Park Program

BERLIN – A new commemorative program will give families a chance to honor loved ones through the dedication of park amenities.

The Berlin Town Council this week approved a new commemorative program administered by the Berlin Parks Commission. With it, individuals can be honored and events can be memorialized with things like benches, bike racks and trees.

“We have occasionally had requests from people who wanted to do something in honor of a loved one and haven’t always been able to accommodate them because we didn’t have a formal process in place,” Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen said. “The options listed in the program are just suggestions based on requests made in the past and are the types of items that people typically wish to donate for commemorative purposes.”

The commemorative program, developed by the parks commission, was created in response to the sporadic requests the town gets from family members who want to honor an individual by planting a tree or purchasing a bench in their honor for one of the parks in town.

“It does not happen often but it would be beneficial to be able to give people clear direction,” Bohlen said.

Items included in the commemorative program include benches, picnic tables, bike racks and bike repair stations as well as a variety of native trees. There are also options for flower donations and monetary donations.

Purchasers will be expected to pay the price of the item being installed as well as a care fee, which varies based on the item.  According to Bohlen the commission developed the commemorative program after reviewing practices in place in other jurisdictions.

Councilman Jay Knerr said in Ocean City, where there was a commemorative bench program, there had been issues when the benches exceeded their lifespan. He asked if that had been considered in Berlin.

Bohlen confirmed that it had.

“There’s language in here that speaks to a particular time frame,” she said.

She said that the town’s policy allowed for the replacement or repair of an item if it failed within a certain time frame. The full policy can be viewed on the town’s website.

The council voted 4-0, with Councilman Dean Burrell absent, to approve the program.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.