Topeka Cemetery Regulations
The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset daily. People on the grounds after dark may be subject to charges of trespassing.
The cemetery may refuse entrance to persons who prevent others from peacefully enjoying the grounds.
Drivers are asked to keep their speed to 15 mph or less and to move as far to the right as possible when meeting another vehicle.
The monuments, markers and vases in the cemetery are the property of the owner of the lot on which they are set. Damage by the elements, acts of God, thieves, vandals and unavoidable accidents are the responsibility of the lot owner.
The following are not permitted in Topeka Cemetery:
- Enclosures of any kind, such as fences, around a lot or grave.
- Vases or memorabilia made of glass.
- Shepherd’s hooks.
- Plastic solar lights.
Most items removed by staff from gravesites, except flowers, are taken to the office for storage and can be picked up there by the owner.
The burial rights for cemetery spaces that were purchased and remain unused belong to the purchaser or his or her heirs. Without specific instructions to the contrary, rights pass from parent to child, with each child having equal rights. The cemetery reserves the right to declare spaces abandoned if there has been no activity for 50 years, or if documentation exists that no heirs remain.
Ownership of spaces may be transferred or sold by the owner. Topeka Cemetery will not broker the sale of spaces owned by others. The cemetery office must be notified at the time of transfer, and the proper documents completed. There may be a fee charged for issuing a deed to a new owner.
Topeka Cemetery does not buy spaces back from the owners. Unused spaces may be donated back to the cemetery. Merchandise and services paid for in advance of need are transferable, but the costs are non-refundable.
Maintenance of Grounds and Memorials
Topeka Cemetery is responsible for mowing and trimming the grounds.
Headstones and vases, though, remain the property and responsibility of the people who purchased them or the owner of the lot on which they are placed.
Replacement of older memorials that have toppled or broken is the responsibility of the heirs. Topeka Cemetery will accept donations to fix specific monuments if heirs cannot be located.
Ground movement as it freezes and thaws will cause most flat markers to settle and sink. The cemetery grounds crew will raise and clean such markers for a fee. Call the office to make arrangements.
Plants and Trees
Topeka Cemetery cannot guarantee that any plant placed in the cemetery will survive the weather or the mowers.
Many gravesites have peony bushes that have thrived for decades, mainly because these plants are very close to upright monuments and sprout early in the spring. Being close to a monument minimizes the risk of being mowed over, and growing to a noticeable size before the weed-eaters are out helping keep them from getting cut off that way.
The cemetery must be particular about trees, keeping in mind final size, how the roots will grow and what it may add to the yard (seed pods, fruit). Overall aesthetics also are an issue.
Trees may be purchased for placement in a family lot. Each tree requires one burial space, and it must be purchased from and placed by a qualified nursery or arborist. Call the office to discuss tree types and costs.