Natural Burials

Natural/Green Burials

RULES and REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO NATURAL/GREEN BURIALS

Natural/Green burial truly offers an ecological choice to people interested, not only in the environment, but those who desire to return to a more natural method of burial. Natural/Green burials allow decedents to decompose naturally and become part of the earth.

1. Decedents are not to be embalmed or topically treated with sprays or compounds. The use of funeral home approved non-toxic chemicals is permitted if required.

2. Decedents accepted for burial (Option 1) shall be wrapped from head to toe in a simple cotton shroud, quilt, or wool blanket and be supported on a solid board for stability for lowering into the grave. A flat board, minimum of 1″ X 12″, the length of the body is suitable. Plywood and particle board are not acceptable due to their adhesive chemical composition.

3. Decedents can also be placed inside burial containers/caskets (Option 2 – preferred), made from materials that are non-toxic, 100% biodegradable, plant-derived natural products, untreated softwoods, cardboard, seagrass, bamboo, woven wicker and hemp, lined with cotton, linen or silk. Materials used in the construction and finishing of products shall not contain plastics, acrylics or similar synthetic materials.

4. No concrete box or sealed vault is permitted.

5. No pesticides allowed.

6. In order to protect the integrity of the natural surroundings, all grave openings will be dug by cemetery workers using minimal power equipment. Graves are dug 4.5 to 5 feet deep depending on the type of burial container/casket used. Family members cannot dig the graves.

7. Only one full body allowed per gravesite.

8. A minimal 24 to 48 hour notice must be given prior to a burial in the Natural/Green Burial area of the cemetery. Family members and friends are welcome to participate, but not encouraged, in placing the decedent into the grave and the grave closing, weather permitting.

9. All graves will be mounded and allowed to return to their natural level. Cemetery workers will adjust the ground around uneven graves throughout the year.

10. Living existing trees will be left in place. Open areas will be mowed with the rest of the cemetery grounds.

11. Grave markers are required. Engraved flat natural fieldstone or quarried stone, approximately 12″ X 24″ and 4 inches thick, may be used as a marker. The stone may not be machine cut or polished and should appear more natural with simple engraving. Grave marker must be installed flush with the ground. No foundation is permitted.

12. Native plants, wildflowers, grasses are the only decorations/plantings permitted. No trees or shrubs may be planted. No artificial flowers, vases, wreaths, glass, flags, statues, stones or any other decorations will be all allowed.

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