Wardner cemetery gets more land

RDEK gets crown land grant from the province for expansion of heritage property.

The province has given a crown grant of land to the RDEK on behalf of the Wardner Community Association for cemetery expansion.

Announced at a recent RDEK meeting last week, the land, approximately four hectares in size, will go towards future expansion of the cemetery expansion.

“We’ve been working with the province, which is allowing the crown grant, so we’ll get that piece of land and the purpose will be to extend that cemetery, but I think probably their first move will be to get it surveyed, and they have put funds away for that and that’ll become something they can manage,” said Rob Gay, board chair of the RDEK.

The WCA must survey they land within one year and do an archeological assessment, both projects where funding has already been set aside for such purpose.

Wardner is just one of many historical cemeteries in the region, along with a site out at Fort Steele and the former boomtown of Fisherville.

“There’s been a cemetery in Wardner for a number of years and the community association decided to clean it up, which they did and they wanted to expand, so it’s a bit of an opportunity to generate some revenue with people who want to purchase their plot for people who live in the area,” Gay continued.

While there is the current site proper, Gay also noted that there were are a few gravesite that are located outside the existing property.

“When we went out to look on the ground, we were walking around the cemetery and we found graves outside of the existing area, on little knolls and stuff—it goes way back,” he said.

“So we decided let’s encompass this into this new area. The area they have now is suitable for some years, but this extra four hectares will be good for a long, long time.

“…It was quite alarming when we found some of these old graves, I think the girl was 10 years old when she passed away, you can still see some of them, so it’s nice we can preserve the heritage aspect of it.”