Bowling Green’s parks department is helping residents honor lost loved ones with physical mementoes.

Landscape Manager Jay Dougherty said the city has been installing memorial park benches since 2016, but there was no formal process for families to follow until this year.

The program guidelines can now be found on the parks department website (https://www.bgky.org/bgpr/cemeteries/memorial-bench).

To apply for a memorial bench installation, families should contact Dougherty via phone or email. He will then help families find an appropriate location for the bench.

The chosen site should appeal to the family and suit the present and future plans for the host park.

“Some locations may not be suitable or appropriate for bench installations due to current park usage and activities, or future plans,” the parks department website said.

When choosing what style of bench they would like to have installed in a city park, families have two options. They can select a wood-grained recycled plastic bench or a bench made out of steel. Both the wooden and steel benches measure 6 feet in length.

The styles are limited to the wooden and steel options because the bench must conform with its surroundings.

Each assembled bench includes a concrete base and engraving. For $400, the parks department will assemble and install a memorial bench.

Dougherty said the parks department decided to release details on how to apply for a memorial park bench on its website because it would “make it easier for people to get the information they needed if they were interested in this.”

“We had been doing them informally for several years,” Dougherty said. “It started as a request over at Kereiakes (Park) and the city decided we could put in a bench for a family and then people started calling to ask if they could do the same.”