City of Des Moines Municipal Cemeteries
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Cemeteries
Where is the cemetery office located?
  • Glendale Cemetery is located at 4909 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311.

What are the gate hours of the cemetery and hours of the mausoleums?
  • From the first Sunday in April through the last Saturday in October, cemetery grounds will be open to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  From the day after the last Saturday in October through the first Saturday in April, cemetery grounds will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Mausoleums open upon request at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 4:00 p.m.

How much notice do I need to give before a burial can take place?
  • The office requires a 24 hour notice for all services.

Can I prepay for the cost of my grave opening?
  • You cannot prepay opening expenses. The opening, which is the responsibility of the family, must be paid in full by the day of the service.

Can I bury a cremation on my own?
  • No, cemetery personnel are required to handle all burials. This allows for proper documentation to be gathered by the Cemetery in order for appropriate data to be entered in the cemeteries records.

Do you have a veterans section?
  • Yes, and there are special options made available to honor the memories of veterans and veteran spouses.

Can I feed birds and fish in the pond or pick flowers at the cemetery?
  • No, as part of the City ordinance, no person shall gather flowers, either wild or cultivate, break trees, shrubbery or plants or feed or disturb the birds, fish or other animals in the cemetery.

Can I have my dog in the cemetery?
  • Pets are not recommended on cemetery grounds.  Pets such as dogs, cats or other pets may not run loose within the Cemetery grounds.  Pets should be kept on a maximum 6 feet leash.

Can I learn to drive in the cemetery?
  • We observe teens and their parental guides maneuvering around the grounds, but we weren't so excited when we had to call the police department for a car vs. headstone accident. Damages to headstones/car may cost thousands of dollars. Some of our headstones are art in their right, and the family expects a level of safety, as they should, for that property. We suggest finding a nearby parking lot or neighborhood.

Can I plant flowers by a headstone?
  • Some areas of the cemetery are planting blocks and some are not.  It would be best to contact the office to learn this information before you begin.

Does the Cemetery periodically clean off grave spaces?
  • Yes, there is three decoration cleanup times a year. See the information under rules to learn better about when decorations are removed.

How many cremations can be buried on a grave space?
  • Two cremations are permitted on a grave space. Also, one casket and one cremation can be on the grave space.

Are there facilities for indoor services in the event of inclement weather?
  • Yes, the Glendale Abbey is available with advance notice. A suggested donation of $50 helps to preserve the Abbey.

What do I do if I have a question that isn't listed here?
  • Please contact the Cemetery office at 515-248-6320  or email us at with any question you may have.