As land conservationists, concerned with the degradation of our planet through wasteful burial practices and committed to offering an alternative to conventional burial, we are working on green burial initiatives, specifically tied to conservation practices. We wish to change the burial narrative.
We see conservation burial as a tool for:
Protecting important community lands
Increasing community connections to nature
Providing safe habitat for wildlife and natural areas
Sharing healing green spaces with communities
Offering an economic alternative to families, and
Potentially funding additional land conservation
LANDMATTERS is working with land trusts, private individuals and municipal groups around the country committed to developing conservation burial ground projects for their communities.
Green burial is a way in which we bury our loved ones with minimal impact on the earth.
It is how people have been buried for centuries, and around the world, where family and community members are active participants in returning a loved one to the earth.
Bodies are not embalmed, nor encased in metal caskets, nor concrete vaults. They are simply returned to a place of rest in the earth, with biodegradable materials such as a pine box, a cloth shroud, a favorite quilt, or nothing at all. Their burial site is recorded just as in any other cemetery, and family and friends can return to visit their site whenever needed.
Conservation Burial Grounds
A conservation burial ground is a natural cemetery that honors nature and the natural passages of life. It looks and feels like the natural area that surrounds it, where nature is enough, just as it is.
Conservation burial grounds are green burial sites with permanent protections, called conservation easements, placed upon them. Conservation easements are voluntary, legal agreements between a landowner and a land trust (or government agency) that permanently limits the uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values.
Conservation burial grounds are found throughout the United States, frequently in relationship with land trusts or other conservation organizations.
Top photo: Conservation Land, Kansas Middle: Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, Gainesville, Florida Bottom: Foxfield Preserve, Wilmot, Ohio