In 2015, Jeff Masten and Heidi Hannapel crafted a vision for a natural burial ground and set about researching and planning for central North Carolina's first conservation cemetery. They visited over 35 natural and conservation cemeteries around the country and helped found the Conservation Burial Alliance, a national group dedicated to supporting the protection, restoration, and sustainable management of conservation land that incorporates natural burial cemeteries. In 2019, they were joined by Farm Church colleagues who helped introduce the concept to friends and colleagues around the Triangle. The cemetery project was interrupted by Covid in early 2020, but moved online with Zoom listening sessions, presentations to small groups, and participation in the Green Burial Council's 2020 Conference.
In 2021, in collaboration with leaders in faith, health policy, and law, we formed a nonprofit, Bluestem Community NC and invited community members to its Council of Stewards. As the project has evolved we continue to hold Bluestem Conversations online every Tuesday 4-5pm.
In 2022, Bluestem Conservation Cemetery will open to the public. Sign up for Bluestem's newsletter to keep informed on our progress.
A Conservation Cemetery for the Piedmont "Where nature is enough"