Your 15' x 15' lots are much larger than lots at conventional cemeteries. How many people can be buried in each?
Only one person may be buried in each site. Given our costs and overhead, this rule helps us meet our conservation mission. You may bury one set of cremated remains along with a standard, full-body burial on a 15' x 15' site, but you are required to purchase a cremains site as well.
What about winter burials?
When a burial occurs during winter months, we may ask a deed holder to exchange their existing lot for one in our winter burial area. Severe weather conditions on the day of burial might force us to postpone the burial by a day or two, as allowed by cemetery law.
May families and friends dig a grave at Greensprings?
Unfortunately, the soil is too dense, stony, and extremely difficult to dig for us to allow loved ones to assist in opening a grave site. You may find it meaningful to a place a shovelful of dirt into the grave at the end of the service, and we will have shovels nearby. We rarely allow families and friends to close graves by shovel as it is such a great deal of work requiring a lot of time and energy. Because you would be committing to filling the grave completely, in a reasonable amount of time, this should only be considered for larger burial parties with many strong, able-bodied family members and friends who have agreed to help. Approval from the Burial Coordinator is required before the day of the burial, as early as possible.
May we bury cremated remains at Greensprings? What about scattering ashes?
We offer 7.5' x 7.5' sites for cremated burials. You may co-mingle ashes and place them in one site together, but two cremains sites must be purchased. You may also scatter ashes in a few approved areas of woods and meadows at Greensprings. Please contact the Burial Coordinator to arrange details, so we can direct you to the approved areas. A $250 donation is suggested for arranging this service.
Can a tree be planted on my grave?
This is currently only an option in select areas. In most of our burial areas, neighboring sites may have burials that happen years or even decades apart. Young trees could be damaged when a neighboring grave is dug, or mature roots of older trees could make digging the grave difficult. For these reasons, our Sequential Burial Area and areas reserved for winter burials are the only places where trees can be planted. The only other exception would be for families or groups who buy several sites together in a block. Trees must be native and approved before you bring them to Greensprings for planting. We require that all trees and shrubs be planted by Greensprings staff to ensure their survival. A fee will be charged for this service.
We are developing a policy to allow for planting trees in memorial groves as well. See our commemorative planting guide for more information.
What is Sequential Burial?
Certain areas of Greensprings have been set aside for sequential burial, meaning that each new grave is dug adjacent to the site that has been filled most recently. This arrangement allows for memorial trees to be planted on top of each grave, something that many of our plot owners desire. Because these graves must be dug in sequence, the site will not be chosen until it is needed.
What kinds of markers are permitted on a grave?
You may have an inscription engraved on a flat natural field stone or quarried stone, no more than 400 square inches and a minimum of 3 inches thick. Stones may not be machined or polished. See Caskets, Shrouds & Stones for more information.
How do visitors find a grave?
We mark the corners of each block of lots with special cemetery lot survey markers and there is a corresponding survey map showing these marked blocks in the Greensprings office to help you locate a grave. But we strongly recommend that you contact us to arrange a visit so we can help you find the grave.
Tell me what the graves at Greensprings will look like.
We replace all the soil that is removed from a grave. This gives a mounded effect. Over time the soil will settle and will eventually lay flat again. The soil can settle unevenly, so we mulch over graves and suggest that families let them be for several months to a year.The following fall would then be the best time for planting at a grave. Eventually the graves in restoration areas will return to woodland.
No artificial flowers or other decorations may be placed on graves. Natural wreaths and flowers without vases or other containers are allowed.
How do I plan ahead for burial?
Please see our Plan Ahead section here.
May I bury my pets here?
New York cemetery law does not allow this.
You don’t allow embalming. But isn’t it the law?
No state in the U.S. requires embalming, but there are instances where it may be required when transporting a body across state lines. See the What You Should Know about Transport, Embalming, Home Funerals, and More section here to determine if your state might require embalming for state-to-state transport. This is on our What to Expect page and also explains how to plan a wake or funeral at home.
If your state requires embalming for transport, or if a body is accidentally embalmed due to miscommunication, contact one our Burial Coordinator to request that we make an exception.