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National Cemetery Administration

Site Furnishings: Signage, Benches, Trash Receptacles, etc.

The components of the site furnishings system should coordinate with and complement each other, the cemetery architectural design and the site as a whole. Site furnishings, including signage, benches, trash receptacles and flower container/water receptacles, shall be simple, standardized, and properly scaled with the function and character of the site. Design or select all components to be low maintenance and vandal resistant. Concentrate placement of site furnishings, i.e., benches, trash receptacles, water hydrants, and signage, in high-use areas.


Signage should be consistent with the NCA Program Guide, Signage Standards for national cemeteries, unless there is a compelling reason for a unique design. Design all cemetery signs as a coordinated information system for cemetery visitors, using consistent locations, shapes, sizes, materials, colors and graphics. The essential purpose of the signage is to communicate information in a legible, clear and easily comprehended manner. The following sign types should make up the signage system:

  • Trail Blazer

  • Site Directory

  • Traffic Regulation

  • Directional

  • Street Identification

  • Place Identification

  • Floral Regulation/Visitor Information

  • Burial Section Markers

  • Committal Service Status Board


Design or select a commercially available bench, to be placed at selected locations to take advantage of views or vistas or to establish spots for meditation. Donations by veterans service organizations are the primary means for acquiring the benches.

Trash receptacles

The design or selection from commercially available products should coordinate with, and complement, the overall design scheme. The minimum quantity possible is desired, placed strategically to accommodate the public.

Flower container receptacles

These are storage receptacles that hold the metal flower containers made available for public use in the cemetery. The receptacle is either placed adjacent to water hydrants along the cemetery road or may be constructed to dispense water from a tank for use by cemetery visitors for flowers. The design of the receptacle is similar to a trash receptacle and should coordinate with all other site appurtenances. Floral regulations sign panel should be attached to this container.

Flower water-spigots

These are posts that enclose or adjoin the water standpipes provided along the roads throughout the cemetery. Water is intended to be used for flowers placed on graves by visitors. The post shall: clearly identify the spigot locations protect the standpipe from being hit by maintenance equipment and incorporate a splash block at its base. If non-potable water is used, the spigot shall be clearly labeled as such. The post design should coordinate with the cemetery signage and all other site appurtenances.

Gravesite locator stand

This is a stand which holds a 215 millimeters x 275 millimeters (8-1/2 inches x 11 inches) book-type listing of individuals interred in the cemetery along with the corresponding gravesite number. The stand should accommodate public use of the document and protect it from the elements. It will normally be located at the Public Information Center. The design should coordinate with all other site appurtenances. In the future this grave locator service may be in an inter-active computer accessible to the public.