Catholic cemeteries are sacred burial grounds for those who have left the earth, but they also serve as powerful places for the living. Mount Olivet Cemetery’s green space is no exception, and is a welcome center of reflection, comfort and tranquility.
The green space at Mount Olivet contains a specifically designed Nature Sacred bench with a journal that visitors are encouraged to read and contribute to. Along with the Nature Sacred bench, there are also two small commemorative benches which are designed to allow families and small groups to engage in reflection or prayer.
Over 100 newly planted trees are habitats for native species and reduce the urban heat island effect that occurs in areas with little to no foliage. The garden spaces also support native species and capture stormwater, which complement the extensive green infrastructure that the Nature Conservancy has already installed across Mount Olivet Cemetery to capture millions of gallons of stormwater runoff that would otherwise flow into the Anacostia River.
The new garden at Mount Olivet Cemetery was installed with the assistance of the staff of Mount Olivet Cemetery and the Archdiocese of Washington, who also provided extensive input during the design process. On a memorial wall, the four local founding parishes of the cemetery are inscribed to recognize their contributions to the over 160 year old memorial ground. Additionally, two small commemorative benches will be installed facing the Nature Sacred bench that will allow a family or a small group to gather for reflection or prayer.