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Gifts and Memorials Policy

Established by City Council resolution on September 16, 2008.


Over the years the City of New Buffalo has been enriched by many generous donations from the public that have enhanced our community public spaces. These gifts are often given in memory of, or in honor of individuals who were residents of the New Buffalo area. Gifts have, and will come in many different forms ranging from monetary gifts, to park enhancements to an entire park.

Each gift is special to our community. Every gift given in memory of, or in honor of someone has at least two things in common. First, they are generously given by family and friends to represent a loved one. Secondly, the donor is seeking to enhance the beauty of New Buffalo by improving our community public spaces. In doing so, the donors have provided a unique enhancement to our community public spaces which will be enjoyed by the current community and future generations to come.

The City Council and appropriate authorities, or boards review each gift and seek to respect the desires of the donors.

These guidelines provide an overview of the gift policy, with recommendations to potential donors to currently available placement of plaques, needed items, and ongoing projects. We trust that these guidelines will assist in determining the gift(s) the donor is considering and allow it to be a lasting tribute to our community.


For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions will apply:

A Standard Memorial is defined as a plaque or established in memory of an event or person(s). The City Council will consider public requests for standard memorials in the City that demonstrate the positive relationship between the community or person, group, animal, organization or event being commemorated and the City of New Buffalo.

Non-standard Memorial Gifts will be handled on a case by case basis. As park plans are further developed, and larger named gift options (i.e. gardens, sculptures, water recreation areas, beach walk sections, etc.) become available, they will be added to the list below.

A Donor is defined as any person or group applying to commemorate an event or person(s) that conveys a positive message for the City.

1. Each proposed gift will be reviewed and must be submitted to City Council for approval. City Council may seek recommendations from the appropriate authority, board, and/or commission prior to approval.

2. All donations and memorials must meet any applicable governmental codes and guidelines.

3. Memorial text will be kept to less than 100 characters and be of an appropriate nature. The text shall identify the person(s) or event to whom the item is dedicated, or the individual or group who is the donor; e.g. “In memory of John Smith 1940- 2006” or “Donated by the Fine Arts Council May 2009”.

4. In all cases the City Council maintains the right to move, modify or remove memorials.


Standard memorials are installed for the life of the asset.

When a standard memorial reaches the end of its useful or has been irreconcilably damaged (other than by direct action of Council), every effort will be made to notify the donor and donor may elect to replace the standard memorial at the donor’s expense, or allow the memorial to lapse (retire).

No special care or guarantee of replacement of standard memorials will be given.

Donations will be recognized as follows:

A register will be kept with the City Clerk where the address and phone number of each donor will be recorded. It is the responsibility of the donor to inform the City Clerk of any address or phone number change to the register list.


A Standard Memorial requires a minimum donation of $750.00.


As gifts to the City of New Buffalo are considered, please know that a member of city staff or an appropriate board member will be happy to assist you in this process.

In closing, we sincerely appreciate your willingness to improve our community through your generous donation.

Available Plaque Locations

New Buffalo Beach Ritter Lighthouse Base
Dog Park Animal Memorial
Oselka Park Pavilion