Dear Friends,
River View Cemetery continues to lead the nation in natural (green) burials. Last year the number of natural burials reached a new high, a full third of all our non-cremated burials (see chart below).

Many clients appreciate being able to choose a natural burial - without embalming, without a concrete vault or liner, using either a shroud or a simple biodegradable casket - anywhere in the cemetery, even in an existing family plot. Others are interested in our long-term plans for dedicated, sustainably-managed natural burial area, or in burial in our undeveloped forested acres.

Now, after years of behind-the-scenes (and beneath-the-ground) work, I'm excited to let you know that we're getting closer to offering a new option to our natural burial customers.

After we announced our natural burial program, we invited nearly 50 community members to provide input on the design of a new, dedicated natural burial area. The direction was clear:
  • A natural look and feel balanced with amenities (such as trails, benches, ceremonial spaces) that support the experience of visitors;
  • Thoughtful separation of the natural burial area from the conventionally landscaped parts of the cemetery;
  • A much larger area than originally envisioned, based on strong community interest.
Our vision quickly ran into technical problems inherent in our steep hillside location. We've been working intensively with environmental engineers, and the city bureaus that oversee environmental protection, for the last several years to develop solutions. With a few final benchmarks to pass, it looks likely that by   late next year, or early the following year, River View will open Phase II of our natural burial program:   a new burial area dedicated solely to natural burial  and populated with native plants, where burials support the health of the watershed.

We are happy to talk with your family, neighborhood, or community group about any of our natural burial options. Please consider joining us for our Earth Day Natural Death Care Symposium on April 22. We're also supporting National Health Care Decisions Day by hosting a conversation game - bring your family!

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I can be reached at  503.246.4251  or .

Best regards,


David Noble
Executive Director
Natural Burials Reach New High in 2016
Growth in natural burials at River View
The number of natural burials at River View has grown steadily since we began our program mid-way through 2010. In addition to the burials that have taken place (shown above), a significant number of those who are pre-paying for their funeral and cemetery arrangements at River View are choosing natural burial.
Upcoming Events
Join Us for National Health Care Decisions Day
Play a surprisingly fun, deeply meaningful, fear-conquering conversation game about living and dying well. Leave with a booklet of questions to share with family and friends, and a personal Next Steps Guide to inform your decisions about healthcare proxy, advance directive, caregiver support, and memorialization. April 19, 7-9pm. More info.
Celebrate Earth Day with our Natural Death Care Workshop
Learn about urban and rural green burial options and how to plan for a natural burial from River View's David Noble & Jodie Buller, Cemetery Manager for White Eagle Memorial Preserve. Explore family-led death care and memorial practices with Holly Pruett, Life-Cycle Celebrant & Home Funeral Guide. Connect with others who want their death to reflect the environmental values they've practiced in life and tour our beautiful historic, non-profit cemetery grounds.
April 22, 9am-1pm. More info.
Did you know...?
River View Cemetery is well-known as a leading resource on natural burial both locally and throughout the industry. Our Natural Burial web page is the most visited page on our site. Contact us if you'd like to arrange a presentation or a screening of the documentary A Will for the Woods
At River View, a historic non-profit cemetery, you can plan to be buried nearly anywhere in the cemetery, directly in the earth without chemical embalming, in a biodegradable casket or a simple shroud.  In the future, River View plans to begin construction of a new, dedicated Natural Burial Area - free from harmful chemicals and pesticides. And in coming years, we expect to make natural burial available in our beautiful forested areas. For more information: