Surveying and GPS technology enable the nation's first "green" cemetery operated by a conservation group get off the ground.


Monday, November 17, 2008
By Marylynne Pitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WILMOT, Ohio -- Atop a hillside in the Sugar Creek Valley, Gordon Maupin trains binoculars on a blue jay as it lands on a tree; a flock of cedar waxwings flies past him.
 
At the simple entrance to this former farm, an engraved stone perched on boulders says "Foxfield Preserve." What you see on these 43 acres are rolling hills, wildflowers, tall trees and sky.
 
What you don't see is that it's also the nation's first nature preserve cemetery operated by a conservation group. Essentially, it may be the cemetery of the future.
 
There are no marble monuments or wrought-iron gates, no groundskeeper in sight.
 
"It's a nature preserve first. It's not going to be at all like a traditional cemetery," said Mr. Maupin, executive director of The Wilderness Center, a nonprofit organization that teaches people of all ages to conserve land and other natural resources.
 
The goal is to achieve an environmental twofer -- offer natural burials that skip many of the costs of a modern funeral and, after creating a natural cemetery, conserve and reforest land that might otherwise be developed.
 
To read the rest of the story, click to www.post-gazette.com/pg/08322/928566-455.stm