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.
LANDMATTERS is facilitating a working group of conservation burial ground creators, owners, operators and advocates, to develop guidelines for establishing conservation burial grounds, identifying best practices and standards for operation. Our goal is a public website of resources, anticipated to be live by January 2019. Contact us for more information.
Top photo: Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, Newfield, New York Middle: Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, Gainesville, Florida Bottom: Foxfield Preserve, Wilmot, Ohio