Residents can soon dedicate a tree or bench to honor their loved ones under a new program the Fountain Valley City Council unanimously approved this week.
Those wishing to do so can buy a new 15-gallon tree for $950, or a 6-foot bench costing $1,960 to $3,720, and have it installed at one of 20 approved locations in the city.
Existing trees and benches aren’t eligible for dedication. Special requests may require applicants to pay a higher price to cover the city’s additional costs.
Residents can customize their memorial from a list of approved trees and benches provided by the city. Both options include a bronze plaque that will be cemented at the base of the memorial tree or affixed to the back of the bench.
One of the program’s main requirements is that honorees must have lived in Fountain Valley or participated in the city at some point in their lives.
Applications will be available at City Hall starting Sept. 9.
The program was created because Fountain Valley has received inquiries from residents asking if they could create memorials for their loved ones, according to a city staff report. It was designed so the city also could recover all associated costs.
Mayor Steve Nagel said he is pleased that residents feel there are community members worth honoring.
“I think this is an opportunity to let people know that [there are] a lot of people that make the city a nice place to live,” he said in an interview Thursday. “It makes things more meaningful and [people can] learn a lot about the history of the city.”
The city’s Public Works Department will be tasked with removing graffiti and dealing with any vandalism. The department also will replace trees up to three times during their expected life cycles at no additional cost.
Should a memorial need to be removed, city staff will look for an alternative location. Otherwise, the memorial plaque will be returned to the applicant with no reimbursement.