A New Approach to Remembrance

A standard feature of natural burial grounds is the absence of gravesite monuments, tombstones and other granite markers, whether upright or flat. Instead, the usual practice with natural burial is to assemble small memorials in a location separate from the graves.

A variety of approaches are used for communal memorialization. For example, the names of those buried in the cemetery may be etched on the polished face of a large boulder placed near the cemetery entrance, as is the case in the natural burial ground within the Royal Oak Burial Park. Alternately, they may be engraved on simple metal plaques that are affixed to a brick wall or other memorial structure located in a space set aside for this purpose. Interestingly, cemetery memorials are not a legal requirement in B.C. In the Slocan Lake Green Burial Ground in New Denver we have plaques fastened to memorial boulders.

Some green cemeteries allow families to plant a native to the area shrub or tree at the time of the burial. Others, including the SL Green Burial Ground in New Denver allow a small marker of a locally found stone, although they make no effort over time to remove vegetation that may cover the marker. Regardless of whether the grave is marked in any way, careful records are kept of every interment so that the location of any grave can be established at any time.