Garden cemetery opens area for natural burials


By: News Staff


Twitter: @ABC6


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Swan Point, one of the premier garden cemeteries in the United States, is opening The Ellipse, a designated area for “green” or natural burial. 

This type of burial follows a process by which all elements going into the earth are biodegradable.

The cemetery reports that they have met qualification requirements and has attained certification from the Green Burial Council, based in Placerville, California.

 “This day has come about due to the ever-increasing concern for the environment and the resulting demand for green burial by the public and the funeral directors we serve,” said Anthony Hollingshead, President of Swan Point Cemetery.  “We talked with other cemeteries in New England who have added a natural burial area and those conversations triggered some ideas on how we could best create our own.  The Ellipse was chosen for its natural beauty and for its location in the historic core of the cemetery.”

The cemetery also reports the following with more information on this topic:

“Surrounded by mature trees and shrubs, The Ellipse will be kept free of monuments to preserve its natural setting.  A granite ledger is located in the area’s center for communal inscriptions of names of those deceased.  Both full body and cremation internments will take place in The Ellipse without the use of any type of permanent outer container.  Simple caskets made of wood or wicker are required for all natural burials.  Wooden caskets must be free of toxic materials and held together with wooden dowels and non-toxic glues. Caskets made of wicker, bamboo and other natural materials must also be free of toxic paints and varnishes and cremated remains must be placed in a biodegradable urn and then buried.”

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019