Report on November 11, 2014 meeting: Natural Burial & Alkaline Hydrolysis

The meeting was lively and highly informative with 16 people present. We had two presenters: Dan Kantar from Mound Cemetery of Brooklyn Center,  Minnesota’s first certified hybrid green cemetery, and Anne Archbold from Prairie Oaks Eco Memorial Garden, Minnesota’s first completely green cemetery.   

It was helpful to hear detailed information about natural burial, what is required, who is requesting it, what are the costs, why people are planning ahead, and how such a burial can help bring closure. Both presenters were most helpful in answering detailed questions about the process.  

We also heard about Bradshaw Center in Stillwater, which offers alkaline hydrolysis (flameless cremation), from MTN member, Dawne Anderson, who visited the facility during last month’s MTN field trip.

People went away enlivened and informed, wishing to spread the word about these options, and looking forward to December’s meeting, the third and final MTN meeting on green burials this fall.

November MTN Meeting: What is a green burial?

What is a “green burial”? Earth-friendly burials are designed to cooperate with the natural process of decomposition and to have a minimum impact on the environment. Typically they feature:

  • No formaldehyde-based toxic embalming chemicals
  • No metal or hardwood caskets. Only biodegradable containers, made of sustainable material such as pine, or biodegradable shrouds
  • No concrete grave liners or vaults.  (Minnesota state law does not require burial vaults, but most cemeteries do.)
  • No or a natural headstone/memorial
En route to shroud burial.
En route to shroud burial.

Learn more about green burials at our November 11 meeting with the owner of Prairie Oaks Eco Memorial Garden in Inver Grove Heights and the manager of Mound Cemetery of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota’s first certified green hybrid cemetery.

November 11, 7-9pm at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave. Minneapolis. 612-927-0894. Free and open to all.