River View Cemetery
Winter 2016 Natural Burial Update
From the Director's Desk
Dear Friends,
It's been five years since River View made national news by offering natural burial nearly anywhere in our cemetery. 
Every year since then, interest in natural burial has grown steadily among our clients. Last year, over one-quarter of non-cremated earth burials at River View were unembalmed burials without a vault or liner, and in some cases, shrouded burials, without a casket.   
Interest in the community has grown too. We've become well-known as a leading resource both locally and throughout the industry. We remain unique in our commitment to integrate natural burial options throughout our historic grounds.
We continue to lay plans for a dedicated, sustainably-managed natural burial area, and for burial in our undeveloped forested acres. The environmental protections that overlay our property and the complexity of any development on our steep hillside location have created unavoidable delays. If these future options appeal to you, our staff are happy to discuss contingency planning.
Read on to learn about one client who has his eye on a forested burial, along with further details about our Natural Burial program and how you can help spread awareness about this eco-friendly option.
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I can be reached at 503-246-4251 or david@riverviewcemetery.org.
With best wishes to you and your family for 2016,

David Noble
Executive Director
River View Cemetery Association

Natural Burial a Popular Choice at River View
One reason River View attracts so many natural burial customers is the opportunity to choose a location virtually anywhere - not just in a separate section isolated from the rest of the cemetery. The desire to be buried near other family members is a deciding factor for many.

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, a significant number of those who are pre-paying for their funeral and cemetery arrangements at River View are choosing natural burial.

Don Tarbutton: A Natural Choice 
Just about everything in Don Tarbutton's life pointed him towards arranging his future burial at River View. A hospice chaplain who lives in an eco-friendly cohousing community, Don says, "The values I've been accumulating over the past decade opened me to more participatory forms of end-of-life care and celebration - and natural burial became the obvious end point." After Don accompanied two friends on a tour, "we all came to the same conclusion, sweetened by the knowledge that we would become next-door neighbors with plots beside each other." Read Don's full story

Educating the Community about Green Choices
River View staff have been out in the community raising awareness about natural burial options. Presentations in 2015 included Oregon Memorial Association and the Death: OK Let's Talk About It conference.
River View Executive Director David Noble and Natural Burial Program team member Holly Pruett were featured on an Oregon Public Broadcasting report on "Doing Death Your Own Way". Listen here.
In 2014 River View sponsored the Portland debut of the award-winning green burial feature documentary,  A Will for the Woods.  We are now offering free screenings of the film for your neighborhood, faith, or civic group, followed by facilitated discussion (no heavy sales pitch, we promise). To schedule, contact Jessica at 503-246-4251 or jessica@riverviewcemetery.org .
This spring River View will host a workshop on natural burial and related topics, in partnership with White Eagle Memorial Preserve and Holly Pruett, Life-Cycle Celebrant. Stay tuned for details!

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:   riverviewcemetery.org

Green Stewardship at River View

"By controlling invasive weeds, we will promote the growth of native fish, plant species, and wildlife throughout the watershed." ~ WMSWCD Forest Conservationist Michael Ahr

Situated adjacent to the green spaces of Lewis & Clark College and the natural area managed by Portland Parks & Rec, River View is proud to contribute to the health of this critical watershed.

 Over the past few years we've partnered with a conservation agency to begin the ecological restoration of over 14 acres of cemetery forest.

 Spend any time here and you'll likely spot some of the abundant wildlife that calls the cemetery home. Fifteen species of birds have been catalogued - including our resident bald eagles - and another 23 species of mammals, amphibians, and birds typically reside in this type of habitat.

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