In an article that you can read here the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) Catholic Cemetery group is in the process of preparing to offer natural, or green burials, as an option as early as this fall. The group has announced that it is readying a portion of one of its cemeteries, Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, to make available about 50 natural burial plots with the potential to add many more in the future.
As this discussion came about, the cemetery group surveyed focus groups and found that there was much more interest in this idea than they had originally thought. 41% of those surveyed said they were likely to consider natural burial according to the article.
At Resurrection Cemetery some of the changes that will take place for the natural section will be:
- The area will be restored to native prairie
- Long grasses and wildflowers will cover the graves
- Instead of headstones, the plots will be identified collectively by monuments along paved paths
Funeral Director Daily take: I think that Resurrection Cemetery and the Catholic Cemetery group of the Twin Cities is ahead of their time. While it will take some time for 50 burials of this type to take place, I do see a movement that will make this more popular in the future. I am of the assumption that you will also be able to bury cremated remains in this section and I see that as a use for these plots also.
This week it has turned out that we have written about niche markets in the death care industry — direct cremation, funeral homes with no physical chapels, and now natural burial places. While there is still a market that wants caskets, viewing, and funerals, we, as funeral homes, need to be aware of all the options available for our client families and be able to relate those options to families with no biases. That will be the way the traditional funeral homes move forward in this environment of choice.