Cemetery Rules & Regulations
Cemetery Clean Up Reminder
Please remember that artificial flowers, wreaths, sprays, and potted decorations are only permitted from December 1st through April 1st. Baskets and other temporary containers must be removed by owners who choose to preserve them; otherwise they will be removed and disposed. One flower bed is allowed at each monument lot and cannot extend more than 12" from the base of the monument.
Veterans Flag Policy
American flags on graves of veterans are placed shortly before Memorial Day and will remain until just after Veterans Day, and will be removed soon before winter weather sets in. They are placed and removed by veterans and volunteers. The veteran marker/flag holder will remain on the grave site for future reference. If you notice a veteran's grave without a flag holder or flag, wish to help place or remove flags, or want to report damaged or broken flags, please contact the Cemetery Department or the Veterans Services Department.
The plastic and metal flag holders typically fade to black after exposure to the elements. We recognize that they look better in their new condition, but we ask that no one try to paint the holders gold or other colors. Painting or spray painting cannot be permitted in our cemeteries. Thank you!
Cemetery Commission Rules for Municipal Cemeteries
The following regulations were adopted by the Westford Cemetery Commission in 1997 for the governance of all public cemeteries in the Town of Westford, control of which is entrusted to said Board. The rules are currently being updated and will be posted when finalized.
- The deed to any lot or grave grants the bearer the sole and exclusive right of burial. At no time does said bearer actually own the property.
- No bearer of a deed to the right of burial may sell a lot. The Cemetery Commission has the option to buy back a lot at the original price, and only if the lot meets the requirements of the Commission.
- No interments will be made until the Cemetery Supervisor has been paid all fees, as adopted by the Cemetery Commission. See separate fee schedule.
- The Cemetery Department reserves the right to correct any errors that may be made in making an interment or disinterment. The Cemetery Department shall not be held liable due to failure of any devices to operate normally, or conditions beyond our control.
- The bearer of a Right of Burial Deed must pay a fee for perpetual care, according to the fee schedule adopted by the Cemetery Commission. This income covers landscaping and maintenance (top dress soil, cut and care of the grass on said lot or grave) in perpetuity. Any remaining income from the fund is to be used by the Cemetery Commission as they deem best for the interest of the lot or grave.
- Proposed designs, locations, and materials for all monuments and flat markers must be submitted to the Cemetery Supervisor for approval. This should be done before orders are placed and contracts signed.
- Only one monument per lot and/or one flat marker per grave is permitted. Monuments and flat markers must be constructed of natural stone or bronze. All monuments must have a foundation, and all flat markers shall be set flush with the ground.
- Curbing, elevated corner markers, buttresses, wooden structures, and unattached urns are not allowed.
- The Cemetery Department reserves the right to temporarily move or remove monuments, shrubs, etc. to facilitate the digging of graves. All reasonable care will be used in replacing disturbed objects, and restoring the lot to its original condition.
- When any memorial is to be removed, inscribed, cleaned, or repaired, a written request must be made to the Cemetery Supervisor stating the owner and their address, as well as the individual or firm performing the work.
- Corner markers are allowed, provided they are installed flush with the ground.
Work On Lots
- Any work to be done in the town’s cemeteries by other then town employees must be submitted to the Cemetery Supervisor. Approval must be obtained both before and after the work is completed.
- No materials of any kind will be provided by the Cemetery Department to any outside party.
- No soliciting for work of any kind will be allowed in the town’s cemeteries.
- Immediately upon completion of any work on lots, all surplus material must be removed by those doing the work. Avenues or lots other than the ones upon which the work is being done must be kept clear at all times.
- Cemetery Department personnel will take all reasonable care while mowing the grass but cannot be held responsible for accidental damage to plants on lots.
- The Cemetery Supervisor is responsible for the care of the cemetery and is authorized by the Cemetery Commission to enforce these rules and regulations.
- No pets are allowed in the town’s cemeteries except dogs that assist the handicapped.
- Genealogy requests will be handled at the convenience of Cemetery Department personnel.
- The fee schedule for burial plots and cemetery services is available upon request from the Cemetery Department and posted on the Cemetery Department website.
- The Cemetery Supervisor may remove without notice any grave decorations (such as boxes, shells, seats, vases, balloons, fences, and similar articles) left on lots that are inconsistent with the proper keeping of the grounds.
- No interments shall take place in Westford’s cemeteries on Sunday or any -of the following town-observed holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Patriots Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day (and the day after Thanksgiving), and Christmas Day.
- Arrangements for a Saturday interment must be made with the Cemetery Supervisor no later than by noon the previous Thursday.
- Arrangements for a Monday interment must be made with the Cemetery Supervisor no later than by noon the previous Friday.
- All persons are forbidden from gathering wild or cultivated flowers or removing trees and shrubs without permission of the Cemetery Supervisor.
- The Cemetery Supervisor is authorized to remove without notice any trees, shrubs, or their parts thereof that are determined to have outgrown their locations or have become unsightly or detrimental.
- Floral frames or baskets will not be kept over one week from the day of the interment. The family may make arrangements with the Cemetery Supervisor on the day of the funeral to retrieve any items they desire. The Cemetery Department shall not be responsible for lost or damaged items.
- All Memorial Day potted plants and decorations will be removed 7 days following the holiday.
- Artificial flowers, wreaths, sprays, potted plants and decorations are prohibited during mowing season (April 2-October 30) but allowed during winter months (November 1-April 1).
- Scattered planting is not allowed. Only one flower bed is permitted per lot: the bed must be located in front of the monument, must not exceed the width of the monument, and be no more than one foot from the base of the monument.
- Annual planting is permitted on the lot provided that the owner waters and weeds the plants once a week and removes the plants at the end of growing season. Neglected plants will be removed by the Cemetery Department.
- Evergreen planting is allowed only on monument lots and with permission from the Cemetery Supervisor to ensure compliance with planting guidelines. Yearly pruning will be done by Cemetery Department personnel.