Memorial Donation Policy

Bismarck Parks and Recreation District
Memorial Donation Policy
Adopted: February 23, 2006
Revisions Approved February 16, 2012 and November 19, 2020 by the Board of Park Commissioners

Purpose

The Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, Bismarck, ND provides the opportunity to donate memorials within the park system. In order to allow for a coordinated and consistent program for soliciting and recognizing contributions, we have established the following guidelines.

The guidelines were developed based on research on the best practices of similar agencies nationwide, the needs and resource capabilities of the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District and the desire of citizens to recognize loved ones through monetary contributions providing for specific lasting memorials.

Scope

The Bismarck Parks and Recreation District memorial donation guidelines allow for several types of memorial opportunities. We encourage citizens to contact the Park District to discuss ideas for locations of memorials. However, final memorial locations will be dependent on the needs of the District and planning processes already underway.

Donations to Bismarck Parks and Recreation District may be tax deductible. Please see your tax advisor for information.

Memorials will be accepted in the following categories:

  1. General Memorial Donations
  2. Memorial Tree Donations
  3. Memorial Bench and Other Park Amenity Donations
  4. Memorial Statues, Fountains, Plazas, Gardens, etc.

General Memorial Donations

General memorial donations gifted to the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District will be acknowledged by a letter from the Executive Director. Funds generated by these donations will be used to best meet current needs of the Park District as determined by the Executive Director.

Memorial Tree Donations

The Parks and Recreation District, with concurrence by the Bismarck Forestry Division, will accept trees donated by the public as memorials. Planting will take place on approved locations on properties owned or managed by the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District. The following guidelines will apply:

  • Submit a letter or email to the Executive Director of Bismarck Parks and Recreation District outlining your donation request, including ideas as to location of the memorial. Email can be sent to bisparks@bisparks.org
  • Tree caliper must be at a minimum of 1” for deciduous trees.
  • Tree height must be at least 3’ for coniferous trees.
  • Donors must pay for any costs of the tree and/or the cost of labor for planting the tree.
  • It is recommended trees be purchased from companies that provide both trees and tree planting services.
  • Plaques are optional and can be included as part of the memorial tree donation program with design, placement and language to be approved in advance by the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District. Plaques must be mounted flush with the surface. The memorial plaque will be provided and paid for by the donor.
  • In instances where trees do not survive, the supplier can be contacted regarding warranty information. Replacement trees may or may not be of the same variety as the original donation.
  • Requests may be made at any time of the year.
  • Cremated remains may be placed with the tree at the time of planting.
  • Family and friends are welcome to hold a dedication ceremony for the person being memorialized.

Tree Replacement/Future Plantings Program:

If a donor wishes to remember a loved one by replacing a tree or shrub that did not survive in the park system or by assisting the District with future plantings at locations determined by the Park District, they are encouraged to make a donation to the tree replacement/future plantings program through the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District. These donations will be used on an “as needed” basis to replace and plant trees enhancing the beauty of the park system and the city. Any amount is accepted but a minimum donation amount of $150 is encouraged for this purpose.

Memorial Bench and Other Park Amenity Donations

Dedicating benches and other park amenities, such as picnic tables, in memory of others enhances the beauty and utility of the park system. The following guidelines will apply:

  • Submit a letter or email to the Executive Director of Bismarck Parks and Recreation District outlining your donation request, including ideas as to location of the memorial. Email can be sent to bisparks@bisparks.org.
  • Although suggestions will be considered for a particular location, placement of park amenities in the park system must meet the plan and requirements of the park or site and the District. Final decisions as to location will be determined by Bismarck Parks and Recreation District.
  • Staff will consider the requests in conjunction with park construction and renovation plans. Approval from the Parks and Recreation Board Commissioners may be required if the donation request falls within a current park site concept plan process. If no site is requested, Bismarck Parks and Recreation staff will identify potential sites for benches and other site furnishings which would be appropriate.
  • Small plaques may be included on the bench with design, placement and language to be approved by the Park District. Any additional costs for the plaque, such as engraving will be paid for by the donor.
  • All park amenities will be constructed of materials selected by the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District to meet the design and maintenance considerations of the Park District.
  • Costs associated with bench placement:
    • Cost of bench will vary based on vendor and style of bench selected – $1,000 and up.
    • Cost of concrete depending on location $200 – $800
    • Cost of plaque engraving – $50 – $100 depending on design

Memorial Statues, Fountains, Plazas, Gardens etc.

To the extent that projects of this nature are consistent with park planning processes, they may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Donors may contact the Park District to discuss their idea. All costs associated with the construction and long term maintenance of such memorials will be the responsibility of the donor.

Park Naming

Opportunities exist for naming of parks and/or sites within the park system. Requests regarding the naming of a park and/or site as a memorial may be submitted to the Executive Director of Bismarck Parks and Recreation District

Parks and Recreation Foundation

In addition to the above memorial donation opportunities, donations may be made to the Bismarck Recreation Council, a 501(c)3 foundation. The purpose of the Bismarck Recreation Council is to support the efforts of the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District with facility development, youth programs and scholarships for needy youth. The Executive Director of Parks and Recreation is the Executive Vice President of the Bismarck Recreation Council and may be contacted for further information and details.

Please contact the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District for other donation considerations.
(phone) 701-222-6455
(email) bisparks@bisparks.org

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