A Compost Tribute to Service & Sacrifice

In June 2015, Edmontonians laid hundreds of flowers at police stations and memorials in honour of Constable Daniel Woodall. Following the funeral services, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) searched for a respectful way to deal with these tributes.

 Some of the many photos left as a mark of respect for Constable Woodall.

Some of the many flowers left as a mark of respect for Constable Woodall.

So began a unique project of service, sacrifice, and compost.

Lorraine Cramer, Public Affairs Supervisor for EPS explains, “Edmontonians offered a visible show of support for the Woodall family, leaving flowers as a mark of respect at police stations across the city. We thought that composting them and using that compost would be a special way to acknowledge these offerings.”

EPS staff collected the mass of flowers and delivered it to the Compost ‘S cool – a compost education site at John Janzen Nature Centre.

Sheridan Sigstad, Compost Educator for the City of Edmonton’s Waste Management Services, helped mix the flowers with other organics in a designated compost bin and watered them. The bin was marked with a blue ribbon to fit with the Blue Ribbon Campaign.

“Throughout the summer, volunteers and visitors at Compost ‘S cool saw our bin with the blue ribbon, and we explained its significance. Then we asked them to help by watering, fluffing, and contributing other greens. It was nice to see this process because hundreds of volunteers and visitors got to contribute to this memorial,” says Sigstad. “I think they felt honoured to be part of this project.”

Presenting the special bags were Mark Stumpf-Allen, the City's Compost Programs Coordinator and volunteer Aurea S. - a Master Composter Recycler.

Presenting the special bags were Mark Stumpf-Allen, the City’s Compost Programs Coordinator and volunteer Aurea S. – a Master Composter Recycler.

The three bags of finished compost were presented to Sergeant Steve Sharpe at Police Headquarters in downtown Edmonton. The Edmonton Police Service intends to use the finished compost as part of memorial services in the future.

Sergeant Steve Sharpe with the finished compost.

Sergeant Steve Sharpe with the finished compost.

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