The Green Cemetery Initiative is a partnership between Mount Grace and Green Burial Massachusetts to establish the first green cemetery in Massachusetts open to all. While some Massachusetts cemeteries permit natural burial for residents of their town, a green cemetery owned by Mount Grace would be available to anyone wishing to be buried without embalming or a burial vault. If used, coffins would be biodegradable and grave markers would be local fieldstone.
Mount Grace Executive Director Leigh Youngblood and Carol Coan from Green Burial Massachusetts interviewedthis winter on the Bill Newman Show WHMP FM 96.9. You can hear podcasts of the December interview here and the January show here. The December interview begins at minute 37 of the show and the January interview begins at minute 32.
Green burial meets a growing demand for alternatives to conventional burial, which is more expensive and more damaging to the environment. Green or natural burials, by contrast, leave a legacy of harmony with nature. They offer a final resting place in a natural setting and the opportunity to use your final act as a way to protect nature and the local landscape and inspire future generations.
A green cemetery sets aside open space for natural habitat and encourages the public to visit a beautiful destination for generations to come. Combining natural burials with land conservation demonstrates another way that protected land can benefit people.
The first public event of the Green Cemetery Initiative, our showing of the film A Will for the Woods at Greenfield Garden Cinema, drew a crowd of more than 100 people. But we are still in the process of finding an appropriate site in our region. A property would need to be at least 50 acres with much of the land not steeper than a 15% grade, relatively dry, and with easy access to a road.
Mount Grace is now assessing suitable land with assistance from volunteer Russ Gaulin. If you know of a possible site, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.