We hope that you all have been safe and healthy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the budding spring is bringing you joy. Here at The Forest Conservation Burial Ground, we believe that every day is Earth Day. That is why we’re committed to doing our part to protect, conserve, and renew our land for future generations.
To provide a space to reconnect our human experience of life and death with land conservation. We are achieving this by offering natural burial in reciprocity with the living landscape—reinforcing the vital connection between ourselves, one another, and the natural world.
Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging with others for a shared benefit. It is mutual dependence, action, and influence—and we believe it is the bedrock of cultural resilience and sustainability. We aim to reflect this reciprocity in our actions and choices, both in life and in death.
Natural, or green burial is essentially the way humans have been buried for centuries leading up to our modern-day conventional practices of embalming and burying with concrete, metal, or plastic.
In a natural burial, a person is buried without embalming, without the use of grave-liners or vaults, and only using materials that are biodegradable such as shrouds and native-wood caskets. The body is buried only 3 feet deep, rather than 6 feet deep, as this allows the soil microbes to benefit.
To put it simply, natural burial is just that:
The Forest is proud to be the first dedicated natural burial ground in the state of Oregon! We take all of the goodness of natural burial in a traditional cemetery and apply it to the entire environment rather than keeping it to just a few isolated sites amongst other conventional graves.
We believe in conservation, and intend to protect this land—as a whole living entity—with a conservation easement. This means that burial fees go back into upholding our values of conservation, restoration, and management of the soil, forests, and wetlands.
We promise that:
And most importantly:
The Forest is situated on 18.4 acres of the 445-acre Willow-Witt Ranch, a private in-holding within the expanded Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon’s high country, 30 minutes from Ashland.
Since 1985, Willow-Witt Ranch has been proud to be a good steward of this unique ecosystem. We work daily to enhance the health of our land, water, and air and to provide organically produced food, products and services for the local community.
Green burial simply makes sense here. Life is vibrant and the seasons pass amid mature conifers, oaks, native shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers. Burial sites overlook meadows and seasonal wetlands. Paths and trails wind through the cemetery, inviting us to pause, listen to the wind in the trees, watch the birds, and spend time with nature.
Cremation is the method of disposition that some people feel suits them best. Our cemetery supports the interment of cremated remains in biodegradable urns, or scattering.
Many people who chose cremation are influenced by economic factors, and we encourage you to check the actual average costs of cremation on the west coast to better decide if it is right for you.
We also encourage you to take a look at these environmental statistics on conventional burial and cremation, collected by the Green Burial Council: https://www.greenburialcouncil.org/media_packet.html
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