Frequently Asked Questions

How will my body get to the burial ground?
By obtaining a disposition/transportation permit, families are able to transport their loved ones in their private vehicle to the burial ground. You may also hire a funeral home to provide transportation.
What about the snow in winter?

All-wheel and 4-wheel drive vehicles may be necessary throughout the winter. We are able to remove snow for burials and gravesite access. The ground does not freeze deeply, so hand-digging the graves is always possible; we may charge additional fees in the event of heavy snow. There may be occasions when the body would need to remain at home on dry ice, or in funeral home refrigeration until the gravesite is accessible. We will work this through together.

Who will lead the graveside ceremony?

We invite families to create/officiate their own ceremony, or to plan with an officiant or religious/spiritual leader of their choice. The graveside ceremony is an opportunity to honor the deceased in ways that are most meaningful to the bereaved. Please ask if you would like ideas to get started with planning.

Can we have a reception at the burial ground?

Yes, receptions can be held at the burial ground. We rent tables and chairs for an outdoor gathering, or the Meadow House can be rented for an indoor gathering, if available. Health Department precautions in relation to COVID-19 must be followed for all gatherings.

Can we participate in the burial process?

Yes! This is part of what makes green burial at The Forest special. Each burial is unique; some families wish to participate in the process while others prefer to witness. Family members and friends are invited to participate in all aspects of the burial: digging and decorating the grave, carrying/lowering the body, and closing the grave. We encourage those who can to engage at their comfort level with the meaningful work of closing the grave.

Are headstones allowed?
Headstones are not required at The Forest. Each grave will be marked with a brass survey marker with the name, birth, and death dates. If desired, a stone native to Willow-Witt Ranch can be purchased (it’s an ancient volcano…we have lots of beautiful stones) and engraved and set once the soil has settled. See the Rules and Regulations for details on what is allowed.
Can a tree be planted on my grave?

The Forest Burial Ground has been developed in an existing conifer and oak forest with abundant mature and replacement trees, native shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers. Burials are placed among and around the existing trees and plants, so specific plantings will not be possible on graves. Memorial native trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers permitted by The Forest can be purchased and will be planted in areas that best serve the overall ecology. Other memorial options are available as well, such as benches and plaques on memorial stone walls. See Price List for details.

Will the burial ground be here forever?

Yes, The Forest Burial Ground will be a cemetery forever. Funds from plot sales are invested in an endowment care fund to ensure the perpetual care of the grounds, including access. The land is owned privately, and is being transitioned into a perpetual purpose trust to ensure the future care, protection, and conservation of the entire property.

How should we prepare the body for burial?

Please visit to learn how to prepare your loved ones body for a home funeral and disposition. For burial at The Forest, please ensure that all materials that will be buried are biodegradable.

What do I do when my loved one is nearing death/dying? What does my family need to know/do when I die?

If you know that death is pending or imminent, please contact us. If you plan to hire a funeral home for body preparation or transportation, you could contact them as well. If you will be caring for your loved ones body at home, visit for instruction.

How will be able to find the grave or direct others to it in the future?

Please contact us and we will support you in finding your loved one’s grave.

Do we need to use a funeral home?

No, you do not need to use a funeral home. For information on handling your own after-death care and transportation, visit

Can we reserve nearby burial plots for other family members?

At the time of a first family interment, additional adjacent plots may be selected and reserved with the assistance of the Sexton. Those nearby sites can be reserved for up to six months awaiting full payment for purchase of Interment Rights.

Can we have family gatherings at the burial ground at other times?

The burial ground is open from dawn to dusk every day. Please contact us if you would like to have a gathering of more than 5 people.

Do I need a casket?

Shrouds and caskets are allowed for burial at The Forest. Please see Shroud and Burial Containers for details.

What if we change our mind after purchasing a plot?

Purchasers may cancel the Advance Need Purchase Agreement at any time up to the 5th calendar day after the date of the initial transaction. After this day, the purchaser may sell their plot back to The Forest at 50% of it’s value, donate the plot back, or sell the plot themselves. Fees and permission apply.

The Forest

© The Forest Conservation Burial Ground. All rights reserved.
This facility is licensed and regulated by the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board (971) 673-1500.
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The Forest Conservation Burial Ground
658 Shale City Road
Ashland, OR 97520
(541) 625-9697