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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Connecting with Natural Burialists Near You

I'm still gathering information from local hospitals about a family's right to reclaim their deceased and bring them home (or to the crematory). Apparently, so few -- if any -- families make this request that none of the administrators I spoke to had any idea how their doctors were supposed to respond to it. As far as they know, no hospital policy on the issue exists. The administrators promise to look into the matter further and get back.

In the meantime, I'll turn to addressing the question I'm asked most often: is anyone else in my area interested in starting a natural cemetery? The question comes up frequently enough that I've created a database of names/contacts and have started putting people from the same general region in touch with each other.

I'm happy to add your name to the list. When someone from your region writes in, I'll forward on your name and whatever contact information you care to share.

Here's the list to date, by state/region:

California (Humboldt County, Los Padres National Forest)

Colorado (Denver area)


Georgia (Central part of the state, Savannah)

Indiana (Bloomington)

Kentucky (Lexington)

Maine (Orrington, Solon)

Ohio (Cleveland)

Pennsylvania (Bucks County, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia)

Virginia (Roanoke)

Add to this list the score of groups that already exist in the following states: Texas (Austin), greater Midwest (group based in Wisconsin), New York (Tarrytown), as well as Canada (Ontario and British Columbia), among others.

I'm in the process of putting together a short primer on how to go about getting a natural cemetery off -- or on -- the ground. I'll post that at a later date.

Note on the photograph: This is the entrance to the Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, outside Ithaca, New York.

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Grave Matters

Facebook page for the book on green burial, Grave Matters, with updates on the growing movement.