Wildflowers in a green burial ground Wildflowers in a green burial ground

Natural Burial Grounds Around the World

Our inspiration comes from natural burial grounds in BC, the UK and US. They are fuelled by passion for the planet and compassion for the families they serve. They are expansive acres of countryside meadow or woodland, truly natural and in nature. We hope one day these countryside natural burial grounds dot Canada’s landscape.

Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, Gainesville, Florida

Ninety-three acres of flowering meadows and shaded breezy forest provide a natural sanctuary at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery (PCCC). PCCC partners with Alachua Conservation Trust, to manage, protect and restore the land for all living things. It’s home to oaks, hickories, magnolias, muthly grass, black-eyed susans, hummingbirds, snakes, bald eagles and many more critters and plants big and small. This 3 minute video speaks volumes of the care and the natural beauty found at PCCC.

South Downs Natural Burial Site, England

South Downs Natural Burial Site is a non-profit organization and is part of Earthworks Charity, based at the Sustainability Centre within a national park. The native woodland burial site is created by planting memorial trees, and is ecologically managed to promote rich bio-diversity for wildlife including owls, badgers, raptors and stoats. There are no markings and cremated remains are not accepted. On the day of a burial, the staff offer lifts to the burial plot and the coffin is carried using a hand-drawn bier or horse-drawn cart. Each grave is dug by hand to minimize the impact on the flora and fauna and to respect the tranquility of the site. Families are also invited to plant native wild flowers on their loved-one’s plot. Clients best capture the essence of an ideal natural burial ground:

A beautiful, peaceful place which is well managed by people who care about the ethos of the place, but also those buried there. I really can’t think of how it could be improved.” – Genevieve

Everyone who attended has stated a desire to be buried here… Difficult to describe the whole experience as it was perfect in every way. Many thanks.” – Anne

South Downs Natural Burial Site, England South Downs Natural Burial Site, England

Carolina Memorial Sanctuary, Mills River, North Carolina

The End is a New Beginning

Carolina Memorial Sanctuary is a conservation and green cemetery that provides a peaceful and contemplative environment in which to lay loved ones to rest. The Sanctuary is available for the natural burial of humans, our pet companions, or cremated remains at a cost of one-half to one-third of contemporary burials. Perpetual conservation of the environment is created as each burial becomes part of the living landscape.

Carolina Memorial Sanctuary, Mills River, North Carolina Carolina Memorial Sanctuary, Mills River, North Carolina

Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, Newfield, New York

Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve covers 130 acres of rolling meadows, spotted with evergreen groves, fringed by 10 acres of woods, and surrounded by 8,000 acres of protected forests. Stewardship is at the heart of everything they do, including adopting practices that help maintain healthy open meadows where meadowlarks, northern harriers, bobolinks, and other birds can thrive. Greensprings offers a sustainable, natural alternative to conventional burials, without embalming fluids, high-cost coffins, concrete vaults and fancy gravestones. At Greensprings, burial is simple. People make their return to the Earth in a way that celebrates how they lived their lives.

Greensprings is so much more than just doing the right thing. Environmentally, it fulfills the traditional need of human beings to do everything they possibly can for their loved ones, even in death.”

Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, Newfield, New York Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, Newfield, New York

Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery, Salt Spring Island, BC

Launched in 2019, Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery is the first stand-alone natural burial ground open to the public in Canada (It’s not attached to a conventional cemetery.) Drive down a winding lane, past a farm and you arrive among a stand of large fir and maple trees. That’s the burial ground -- 13 acres, nestled between the ocean and the hills of typical coastal Douglas Fir forest. The Gathering Place is built from their own timber, and there's a washroom with a stunning view!

Salt Springs IslandSalt Springs

Denman Island Natural Burial Cemetery, British Columbia

Imposing cedar sculptures by Michael Dennis greet visitors at Canada’s first present day stand-alone natural burial ground, opened in 2015 and operated by members of the Denman Island Memorial Society. Formerly clearcut land will be restored to a forest typical of the Douglas fir climatic zone. The land was donated by the Denman Conservancy Association, which holds a conservation covenant on the land. The convenant protects the land against metals and chemicals used in conventional burial and ensures that the natural vegetation will regenerate over time. Community donations enabled the cemetery to launch, and the memorial society now provides advice to other communities interested in pursuing this conservation approach to after-death care. (photo: Stephane Slater)

Denman Island Natural Burial Cemetery, British Columbia