Bosque Bello Cemetery Gets New Landscapers

City of Fernandina Beach
August 26, 2022

The rumors are true. Starting Monday, Aug. 29, Natural Landscaping of Jax Inc. will begin lawn care in Bosque Bello Cemetery.

Their responsibilities include mowing, weed eating, edging, blowing, and debris removal. The contractor will landscape the entire cemetery bi-weekly throughout the year.

Some may question, why outsource the landscaping needs of the cemetery? Multiple factors went into this delicate decision and it was not taken lightly. The cemetery is in need of so much more than just our general landscaping needs. This contract will uphold (at the very minimum) the current level of landscape service. In addition, it will provide much needed savings to the cemetery budget allowing future funds to be appropriated in areas of need.

Bosque Bello means “Beautiful Woods.” We must protect the tree canopy. Irrigation issues are prevalent, monuments are in need of TLC, there has been an uptick in vandalism so securing the perimeter may be on the horizon, and stormwater issues are apparent in certain areas. All of these items cost significant amounts of money. This change will allow us to immediately work toward a more sustainable approach to our hidden jewel in the woods.

In addition to this change, the Parks & Recreation Department is seeking volunteers to work with Friends of Bosque Bello and the City to help uphold the City ordinances that are specific to the cemetery. Starting in October, the first Monday of each month, we would like to implement a cemetery walk-thru to remove items that are not permitted (e.g. standards regarding plastic / glass flower holders, temporary displays, and various mementos). These items have been loosely enforced, but make it much more difficult to work around during routine maintenance.

If you are interested in helping out, contact Kaitie Rivera at [email protected].

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chuck hall
chuck hall (@guest_65974)
1 year ago

vandalism appears to have removed the heads of any statues, and many monuments are destroyed. Such a waste of wonderful ancient architecture. Be aware that thieves are also stealing monuments, fencing and other relics for resale. These have become extremely valuable to collectors and decorators. I would hope that the plans include cameras, and locked gates after hours.

John Goshco
John Goshco (@guest_65976)
1 year ago

Saving money is always a good thing.
Question. Where have the former cemetery employees (and equipment) gone? Have the employees been laid off? Has the maintenance equipment been sold? This scenario might result in some future savings. If the employees and equipment are now in a different City department, then I suspect that the savings will be minimal.

Deborah Reeves
Deborah Reeves (@guest_66123)
1 year ago

Cannot wait till my next visit to see how the City has attended to your Gem. I am a Board member for a church up North. After touring your cemetery in September, I was heartbroken from the obvious lack of care to older “residents”. Headstones back in the wooded areas were thrown around in the bushes. The beginning of the cemetery, newer residents, was nicely cropped and beautiful. All residents deserve better. Ground penetrating radar was used as a mapping for tree planting. Similar mapping would help to locate residents and set their stones properly. We too had let the older parts of our Cemetery to fall into disrepair. Our Revolutionary headstones are once again in place. All things considered, Bellos is a beautiful place.

Last edited 1 year ago by Deborah Reeves