Green Burial Options
Green, or natural, burial offers an environmentally-friendly option for those wishing to leave a smaller footprint on the earth. Green burials offer the deceased and their family more natural options, free of traditional chemicals and non-biodegradable materials.
Simply put, a natural burial will return human remains to the earth as directly and modestly as possible. There are many types of natural burials from an interment of a shrouded or minimally-coffined body to the scattering of ashes. To accommodate different interests of our families, Bellefontaine will offer several options and “levels” of green.
Natural burials avoid embalming (a process which is not required by law), metal caskets and burial vaults that have become the standard features of many funerals. Instead, natural burials favor interring the deceased in biodegradable cloth shrouds or simple coffins made from renewable woods such as pine. It is the way most of the world cares for its dead outside of North America and Europe, and is how the United States buried its dead until the late 19th century.
The opportunity for the families to participate in the funeral and burial rituals can impart a sense of closure as well. Natural burial is a statement of personal values for many people who seek to minimize their impact on the planet. For those who are mindful of the cyclical nature of life, natural burial is a spiritually fulfilling alternative to a conventional funeral.
“Traditional” Green Burial
This is a natural burial option that can be utilized in any location within the cemetery, whether on a family lot or in the new, soon-to-be established dedicated natural burial areas. “Traditional” hearkens back to traditional burial practices in place for thousands of years where no chemicals, elaborate caskets or vaults are used.
Coming soon – Evergreen Glen and Hope Hill Prairie
The dedicated natural burial areas of Bellefontaine Cemetery will offer contemplative open spaces that also provide critical habitat to birds and small mammals. Both areas will incorporate native plants and will minimize or eliminate mechanized maintenance, herbicides and pesticides.
Evergreen Glen is a secluded, woodland valley surrounded by mature trees, drifts of flowering shrubs and woodland groundcovers. Small family cremation lots and individual cremation spots will be offered.
Hope Hill Prairie
Hope Hill Prairie will be a naturalized prairie setting bordered by native Missouri short leaf pines and sumac.
This peaceful area will have spaces for full body burial and in-ground scattering. Family lots will be available, with unlimited scattering. Memorialization will be on a shared, monolithic granite marker.