Gates indicate the entrance of Soldotna Community Memorial Park on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Gates indicate the entrance of Soldotna Community Memorial Park on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s cemetery expanding

The expansion is expected to add 20 years worth of capacity to the existing cemetery.

Nearly 400 new cemetery plots will become available at the Soldotna Community Memorial Park as part of expansion efforts that the city said last week were “nearing completion.”

The cemetery — Soldotna’s first when it was developed in 2011 — has spaces for traditional burial plots as well as a columbarium, a veteran’s memorial and spaces for deceased children. That’s all in addition to a memorial wall bearing the names of past citizens who did not have the option of being buried in a Soldotna cemetery.

The cemetery is located off W. Redoubt Avenue and features an overlook of the Kenai River that is next to a “scatter garden” where people can scatter cremains.

The city said in a release that the expansion is expected to add 20 years worth of capacity to the existing cemetery, which was Soldotna’s first when it was developed in 2011. Included in future visions for the cemetery, which has four phases according to the Soldotna Community Memorial Park Master Plan, is further development of the site’s overlook of the Kenai River and continued expansion of the cemetery’s capacity.

The expansion work underway in Soldotna — described by Phase II of the master plan — is concentrated mostly at the northern end of the cemetery.

Cemetery expansion efforts are similarly underway in Kenai, where an expansion that will bring about 75 new plots is scheduled to open next spring. Kenai currently has a moratorium on the sale of standard cemetery plots that was approved by the Kenai City Council in 2017 due to an “extremely limited” number of plots.

More information on the Soldotna Community Memorial Park can be found at soldotna.org/government/city-clerk/community-memorial-park.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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