Burials must begin by 2:00 p.m. Call Jennifer Johnson, at (607) 329-2279 to make arrangements or to ask questions about any of the requirements listed here.
Everything going into the grave site must be biodegradable.
We don’t accept embalmed or chemically preserved bodies, unless a special exception has been granted by our Co-Directors. Clothing and shrouding should be made of natural fibers such as cotton, silk, or wool.
A body should be kept cold until arrival at Greensprings, by refrigeration, dry ice, or ice packs. We recommend transport by van rather than hearse.
We prefer that families not bring wreaths on metal stands or flowers in plastic containers; these should be removed by the burial party. Loose bouquets may be placed over the casket or shroud before closing the grave, but should not be left on top of the grave mound as this could potentially introduce non-native species on the grounds.
NY State requires that a licensed funeral director be present when a body is buried at a cemetery. Funeral directors most show a photo ID and funeral director’s certificate with registration number before we will accept a body for burial.
- Plain, untreated and unvarnished wooden caskets, including Jewish caskets—caskets should not be made of “rainforest hardwoods” or other nonnative woods
- Cardboard, paper-mache, wicker
- Homemade coffins
- Must not exceed standard casket dimensions; our graves measure 8'x3'
Shrouded bodies must be entirely wrapped head to toe and be supported on a solid board for lowering, which you provide. Plywood and particle support boards are not acceptable. There is a new trundle (underboard), approved by the Green Burial Council, which we will accept. It measures 78″ x 25″, is well-made and has rope carrying handles. We do not accept unfinished doors as they are not of solid wood. Call
Clothing & Footwear for Burial Parties
Visitors should dress as if they’re going on a hike as the terrain is uneven in places and dress shoes are impractical. Extra layers of warm clothing and warm boots are essential for winter burials. We explain this to the family and friends who arrange burials for their loved ones but find it is most helpful if you repeat this message to them as well.
Arrival at Greensprings
You’ll be received by our Co-Director for Burial Coordination Jennifer Johsnon or Assistant Director Chris Dunham to complete paperwork while our staff greets the burial attendees. Please provide the body delivery receipt; we also have copies if needed. Families pay Greensprings directly for the burial site, but pay you for our open-close fee for which you’ll reimburse us.
After the paperwork is completed, we can assist you with moving the casket or shrouded body from your vehicle to our “pallbearers friend,” a sturdy, attractive all-terrain transport cart. Families are welcome to help as well.
We offer guidance to families and friends who are moving the body to the grave site. After the family's service or ceremony, we instruct them on how to lower the body into the grave and offer assistance if needed. Shovels are provided for visitors to place a shovelful of earth in the grave if they wish.
While our backhoe contractor closes most graves, some burial parties wish to close the grave themselves. This request must be made in advance of the burial as it requires a good deal of time and energy, and Greensprings staff must attend until the grave is filled. Because the family is committing to filling the grave (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.
We do everything possible to make this a good experience for you and the families we serve. Please contact us if you have questions. We look forward to meeting you.