Today's date: Saturday January 19, 2019
column width padding column width padding

The Wellington Advertiser Masthead Logo

We Cover The County...
40,052 Audited Circulation

WEEKLY POLL   |   Community News   |   EQUINE   |   Schools & Buses

Wellington Weddings 2019
Business Leader Banner
column width padding column width padding

Split Decision

by Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik

Eliminating burial plots to save trees

Burial plots needed

There are not many places left in Fergus to bury the dead. With one undeveloped section within Belsyde Cemetery remaining, it makes sense to utilize it to its full potential.

Belsyde is the only municipally-owned cemetery in Fergus and has only 13 double lots (or 26 individual lots) left in its current developed areas. At an average of 15 lots sold per year, the township has about two years until the site is full. So, council needed to decide on what to do with the undeveloped plot in the south-east portion of the cemetery.

That’s why eliminating 176 lots to save a row of 13 trees is not considering the bigger picture. Centre Wellington council made a poor decision in eliminating these burial plots, thereby losing out on $400,000 in potential revenue, to save the row of trees.

The plan (that council paid for) was to add 734 lots that could meet the demand for another 50 years. Taking out 176 lots means shaving 13 years off the life expectancy of the cemetery.

The bigger picture is this: in a growing community, there will be an increasing need for burial plots. Cemetery expansions need to meet accessibility requirements and the removal of the trees would not only have an impact on the number available in the future, but it would also impact grading of the site.

The loss of revenue is not to be overlooked. Council had the opportunity for the cemetery to be self-sustaining, but now it may need to  reach into taxpayer coffers.

Trees can be replanted, grown elsewhere. Hedges, which have a smaller footprint, can also be planted to keep the natural aesthetic. Better solutions than the one council made exist.

– Olivia


Save the trees

“Out with the old” seems to be a common sentiment in today’s “throw away” society.

Yet, earlier this week Centre Wellington council took a stand and voted against the grain, choosing to keep 13 trees in Belsyde Cemetery in Fergus at a potential $400,000 loss to the township.

They listened to the neighbours and chose to keep the trees.

While tree removal would add an additional 176 burial plots, removal of the long established trees could add additional complications.

First, think about the root system of those mature trees. Not only are trees good for air quality and visual appeal, they are also essential for erosion control. All those roots are woven and integrated into the soil.

Council spoke about the installation of a retaining wall to offset the tree removal, but who’s to say that would even work?

The trees are doing their job now. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

Second, cemetery neighbours pleaded with council to keep the trees as a visual barrier between their properties and the cemetery. And why not? They’ve waited years for the trees to grow to a useful height. Even if the township did plant 13 replacement trees it would take years before they grew to a size that resembled a useful barrier.

As council said, the cemetery development is taking place over a number of years. As each phase is completed and a new one begins, they can take their time to re-assess and do what’s needed at that time. There’s no need to rush decisions now.

– Jaime

Vol 51 Issue 30


Tell Us What You Think

Login to submit a comment

Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser. Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive, unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. You must register or log in in order to post a comment. For more information, read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines.



Wellington County


Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Bruce Whitestone
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Stephen Thorning
Stephen Thorning

Recent Columns

Bits and Pieces

  • Signature bonnet
  • Digital pantomime
  • Connect the dots
  • Generation gap
  • Little things
  • Tylenol kick
  • This Little Piggy
  • Nature's best
  • Business Matters

  • Alternative donations
  • Into the fray
  • Canada's Business

  • The decline of civility
  • Irrational exuberance II
  • Speak up
  • An enduring register
  • A government assessment after one year in office
  • Gauge signals
  • Unpatriotic
  • Inevitable
  • Comment from Ottawa

  • The Syria question
  • Reflecting on 2016
  • Open, transparent combat mission?
  • Bad for businesses
  • Have your voice heard on electoral reform
  • Open and transparent?
  • Assisted dying
  • Leadership bid
  • Life-wise

  • Retirement
  • Canadas scarcity of calamity
  • Often we mirror our parents
  • Putting up with put-downs
  • A tale of two landlords
  • A letter from the campsite
  • Two shades of black
  • Precious memories
  • Queen's Park Report

  • Back to work
  • Merry Christmas
  • Remembering them
  • High-cost hydro
  • Six important issues
  • Emancipation Day
  • Great Lakes
  • Happy Canada Day
  • Special to the Advertiser

  • Death of JFK changed the world
  • Split Decision

  • Councillors voting themselves raises
  • The most interesting election races
  • Ketchup conundrum
  • Eliminating burial plots to save trees
  • Organic waste pick up in Wellington
  • Uploading Hwy. 6 Connecting Link
  • Political campaign texts
  • Cannabis legalization coming Oct. 17
  • Staying Connected

  • It’s all about staying connected.
  • Stray Casts

  • Final lines: Its been great
  • Thorning Revisited

  • Popularity of bicycle peaked from 1896 to 1898 in CW
  • Woman married two men within days, became ‘grass widow’
  • News from the Mapleton Township area in 1952, 1977
  • Gas shortages, heavy bus/train traffic marked WWII holidays
  • Uncovering the history of Elora’s Chinese laundry
  • Four new churches dedicated in county in early 1864
  • News from the Mapleton Township area from 1958, 1908
  • John Connon remembered for photography, history book
  • Valuing Our History

  • Library, post office replaced Elora’s cattle market
  • Few details survive about Glenlamond saw mill
  • Will of Rev. William Barrie disputed by sister
  • Connon became full-time photographer after trip to Europe
  • Hustonville founded, thrived, vanished in 20 years
  • Lack of railway siding frustrated Fergus’ James Gow
  • Fergus mill made oat flour for Cheerios, other brands
  • Railway passenger service waxed and waned over the 1900s
  • WriteOut of Her Mind

  • My promise
  • Dear 2019
  • Post-Christmas syndrome
  • Fergus Santa
  • Merry flirting
  • Bohemians
  • No mistletoe
  • Home sick
  • column width padding column width padding column width padding

    The Wellington Advertiser





    Digital Publications


    Twitter Logo

    Free Press News Network Logo