Rules and Regulations for Natural Burial Ground
The Natural Path Sanctuary promotes a legacy of care and respect for the earth through choosing a natural burial. We recognize that death is not always easy to accept, whether anticipated or unanticipated, and all involved with the Natural Path Sanctuary believe that there is healing in the practice of a natural-life sustaining burial.
The Natural Path Sanctuary is committed to family and community friendly burials with as minimal of an impact on the environment as possible. It is our desire to preserve the natural beauty of the land in life and in death.
Given the toxic nature of traditional embalming fluid, embalming is not allowed. Funeral directors and morticians need to be instructed not to use embalming fluids, but rather to use alternatives such as refrigeration, dry ice, or closed casket
Outer burial containers and liners :
Vaults and similar outer containers are inconsistent with green burial and are not permitted at the Natural Path Sanctuary.
All burials shall be made in biodegradable containers such as shrouds, blankets, bare wood caskets, urns, and cremain grade cardboard boxes. Shrouds, blankets or drapes are preferred because they require less disruption of the root systems where the burial takes place. Caskets cannot be made with metal or precious woods. Containers shall be constructed of sufficient strength to support the weight of an adult body. A list of possible sources for purchasing biodegradable containers and coverings is available upon request.
We do accept cremation remains, however we ask that the energy demand of cremation be considered in your decision- making when comparing burial vs. cremation. If the cremains are buried in an urn, all urns must be biodegradable. Burial and scattering of ashes will be allowed in designated parts of the Natural Path Sanctuary’s burial grounds, and will be documented and recorded in the same manner as any burial.
In keeping with the understanding that the grave sites will return to their natural state, many families choose not to have a grave marker. Some families may choose a simple log or flat field stone as a marker. An engraved permanent stone marker is also allowed, however it must be flush to the ground, and must meet the established size limitation of a maximum of 216 sq inches and no more than 24 inches in one dimension. All marker costs are the family’s responsibility. An electronic record and map of the exact burial site is maintained at the Natural Path Sanctuary office. Family can access the computerized map and we will be happy to work with you to archive personal information that you would like kept with the burial record. Such archives will be made available to family, genealogists, and future generations.
Planting of Flowers, plants, shrubs and trees:
Flowers, decorative plants, shrubs and trees may not be planted at the cemetery without first securing the cemetery’s permission. Permission will only be granted for native species from a list provided by the Natural Path Sanctuary, within the limits of existing flora. Generally the plant growth on the grave sites will return to their natural state.
Floral Tributes and Decorations:
In keeping with preserving the natural environment, floral tributes and other objects must be removed after the completion of interment services. Religious identifiers may be buried with the individual’s body.
Size of Memorial gathering:
Due to conditions established by the Town of Springdale, we can only have family and friend-based burials with no large funeral services, attendance limited to a 20 vehicle parking limit. No parking is allowed along Spring Rose Road.
We hope that these regulations are seen as reasonable because they are based on our mutual desire that people buried here will be a part of the natural path of life and death, buried amongst the trees and the plants.
Print pdf document: Rules and Regulations on letterhead.