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