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Cleaning Headstones article on the International Association of Cemetery Preservationists website

I.A.C.P., Inc. 501 (c) (3) International Association of Cemetery Preservationists

1. Take only photos, leave only footprints.

2. Do not touch memorials or artifacts. They are privately owned outdoor sculptures.

3.Do not bring alcohol, firearms or entertainment items into cemeteries.

4.Show respect for the dead.

5. Maintain supervision of children and teach them to respect the dead.

6.Keep pets under control and clean up after them.

7. Do not litter, this includes cigarette butts.

8. Do not interfere with the plants or wildlife that inhabit the cemetery.

9. Keep your vehicle on designated roadways or in parking areas.

10. Do not leave vehicle idling. This can damage historic structures and sculptures.

11. Please stay on designated walkways or footpaths.

12. Obey posted times of operation or refer to local laws on the matter.

13. Promptly report suspicious activities or any type of vandalism to local authorities.

14. Do not use cemeteries as a camping ground or a lover's lane.

15. Picnics are usually acceptable as long as you clean up afterwards.

16. Turn off your car radio/stereo while driving or parking in cemeteries.

17. Observe floral regulations.

18. In some cultures, photographing cemeteries or mourners is a taboo. If told to put away your camera, do so.

19. Keep a respectful silence. Speak to your companions in a low tone of voice.

20. If asked to leave a cemetery by an employee, mourner, or officer of the law, do so without argument unless you have a legitimate purpose for being there. Tourism does not count as legitimate in some locales.

21. Do not apply shaving cream to stones. Learn to use the light to your advantage.
22. Avoid mourners. If they approach you, be honest about the purpose of your visit. If you wish to photograph them, ask their permission. On certain holidays, such as Memorial Day or the Day of the Dead, this rule might be relaxed. Many families are very willing to include a stranger in their circle and tell her or him about the loved one(s) being honored.

23. Be friendly and courteous to all that you meet.

24. Do not do tombstone rubbings on thin stones. Your weight may crack or snap the stone.

25. Do not remove anything from a grave that you did not put there yourself unless it is obvious litter. This includes flowers, coins, stones, dirt, and other artifacts.


IACP • Int Assoc of Cemetery Preservationists

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