How Do Cremated Remains Fit Into Conservation Burial Practice?
While conservation burial is by definition one-step, full-body burial directly into the earth, most natural burial cemeteries offer the right to bury cremated remains to serve those who are searching for a place of burial that is respectful, environmentally-responsible, affordable, and protected forever. (Learn more about accepted terminology.)
Facts About Burying Cremated Remains in a Bonafide Conservation Burial Cemetery
- The costs of burying cremated remains in a conservation cemetery range from $650 to $4000.
- Prices vary, depending on whether the burial includes only basic opening and closing fees (digging and filling the grave space) or additional services or fees, such as mapping/GPS and permanent grave locators, or cenotaph (memorial wall or other structure) engraving.
- Costs will also likely include contributions to the perpetual care fund and land conservation fund.
- Conservation burial cemeteries are registered with their states as cemeteries, guaranteeing their protection in perpetuity.
- Conservation land trusts or other registered land protection agencies and entities are also involved with our cemeteries, adding another layer of protection through active property monitoring, and ensuring that the cemetery will be there undisturbed forever.
- Conservation burial grounds follow well-established standards that implement conservation plans that provide guidance for tree and foliage planting, restoring the land, and maintaining the cemetery and associated protected lands. Memorial plantings meet the plan's requirements.
- Because cremated remains have a high sodium content and pH level, they can be detrimental to trees and plants both above and below ground. In addition, scattering them can cause phosphorus run-off into nearby waterways, creating algae bloom that kills fish, plants, and other water life. Some conservation burial grounds choose to bury cremated remains with proven soil amendments and a process design to protect roots and vegetation - protocols vary depending on location and soil and surrounding fauna conditions.
- Some cremation burial or scattering businesses have adopted cremation burial best practices. Be sure to ask questions before committing to purchase. (Find questions here.)
The earth is what we all have in common."
— Wendell Berry