The New Garden of Eternal Light
By: Wayne Jewell
As you drive through the main gate leading in to Sunset Memorial Park, and travel up the road just to the right of the Fountain of Memories, going towards the office and the Westwood Abbey Mausoleum, you will notice a real change or addition to the landscaping. It is an area now known as the Garden of Eternal Light.
In the almost 24 years that I have worked here at Sunset Memorial Park, I have never been involved in such an extensive landscaping project. Although I put my fair share of labor in to this project, I cannot take all of the credit.
This project started over a year ago when our management looked at an area in front of the Westwood Abbey that was grass, trees and shrubs and said we can do something with this space. General Manager John Bokas consulted a cemetery design specialist, Mr. James Naville from Memphis, Tenn. and commissioned him to create an elaborate and innovative design. Then it was up to our special projects man, Don Drazil to lay out the locations of sidewalks, private mausoleum and landscape lighting. A huge crane truck was brought in to move two of the private mausoleum from down by the river to their present location in front of the Westwood Abbey. Most of our maintenance staff had a hand on this project at some point or another by helping with digging trenches for a gas line, digging out where the sidewalks were to go and removal of the old tired looking landscaping. For my part, there was the installation of an eight-zone irrigation system and the installation of new trees, shrubs and flowers with some much appreciated help from John Adams and Mike Hula.
In my opinion as a horticulturist, this area will be the premier location in all of our cemetery and I say that because from the stamped concrete sidewalks, gas flame, extensive variety of trees, shrubs, perennial flowers and annual flowers to the overall eye-catching design there is just so much to see.
Now I am not a salesman, but based on the number of compliments that we have received just in the three days prior to my writing this article, I would say that property in this area will sell out very quickly.
That being said, I would like to personally invite you to stop by soon and check out our new Garden of Eternal Light - even if you are not in the market to invest in cemetery property at this time. Just come visit and see what we have done.