Thursday, October 21, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Peace for Pets

Girl Scout Ambassador Delaney recently earned her Gold Award by completing a project she titled, “Peace for Pets.”

Before the implementation of her project, Eastern Shore Chapel Cemetery in Virginia Beach had no policies or procedures in place that allowed the placement of patrons' deceased pets. Delaney worked with Mike Brown, cemetery manager, to design a plan and pick a plot for a pet memorial garden. Delaney created brochures for church members explaining different types of pet memorial processes, including cremations and the scattering of ashes, a sustainable solution.

With the help of Sandy Ricks, Norfolk Master Gardener, Delaney planned out the species of plants she would like to use in the garden and got to work with the help of volunteers. The memorial project included gardening and planting the plot, placing a bench for visitors and creating a birdhouse to encourage wildlife to visit all with the aim to bring solace to visitors.

For a finishing touch, Delaney added a statue of Saint Francis, the Patron Saint of animals.

“The creation of a pet cremation section of the cemetery would allow the cremains of a person’s deceased pet to be memorialized,” Delaney said. “The purpose of my project is to make the cemetery more open and inclusive as well as visually appealing.”

At the end of her project, brochures were distributed to parishioners and Delaney gained interest in her garden as an option for people during a difficult time.

“I hope this will become a sacred and peaceful place where members of Eastern Shore Chapel and other patrons of the cemetery may have their beloved pet cremains placed.”

Congratulations, Delaney!