Greensprings Natural Cemetery Association Rules & Regulations

P.O. Box 415 / 293 Irish Hill Road

Newfield, NY 14867 / 607 564 7577

May 2015

Note that: “Greensprings,” “We,” “Our,” and “Us” refer to Greensprings Natural Cemetery Association, Inc. “You” or “Your” refers to site owners and their heirs and assignees. (“You” or “Your” may also refer to visitors where specified.) “Visitors” refers to anyone (including site owners, heirs, and assignees) who visits Greensprings as part of a funeral party, or simply to walk around and enjoy the property. A “site” is a burial area intended for the burial of one person.

1. All sites in Greensprings are sold in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the State of New York and shall not be used for any other purposes than as a burial place for deceased human beings.

2. In order to schedule a burial with us, you must purchase a site for the deceased unless the deceased has already purchased one. You must also provide us with:

  • The name of deceased
  • Age of deceased including birth date, if known
  • Place of birth of deceased, if known
  • Date of death
  • Time and date of interment
  • If the deceased is not an adult, the names of his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s)

3. You may choose burial in a standard burial area (plantings of Finger Lakes native herbaceous annuals or perennials only), sequent ial burial area (native trees and shrubs permitted), or cremains area. See our “Memorial Planting Guide” for more information.

4. Only one person, whether as a body or as cremated remains, may be buried in each site—with one exception: if you wish to bury cremated remains in the same grave as a full-body burial, you must also buy a site in our cremains area but leave it unused. Burial of cremated remains in our Jewish burial area is not permitted, as it is contrary to Jewish law. Cremated remains may also be scattered in the areas reserved for them. Please ask us for details.

5. If you purchase two or more sites, we encourage you to designate family members or friends as owners of each site.

6. You may transfer your site to another person—but see (5), (7) and (8). If you purchase a site for yourself but, upon death, are buried elsewhere, then your site passes to those named in your will. If none are named, it passes to your descendants, then to your surviving spouse. Whether you inherit burial rights, or you as the original owner wish to sell or transfer your site to another party, you must let us know of any such changes. Concerning permission to bury those not specified with Greensprings Natural Cemetery Association, refer to Section 1512 of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law). 

7. You are prohibited from allowing someone to inter a body on your site in exchange for money, goods, or services.

8. If you decide you want to sell your site, law requires that you first offer the site back to 

Greensprings. We will typically buy a site back at half of the price you paid, but exceptions may be made. You may also “gift” the site back to Greensprings, as a tax-deductible gift-in-kind for the full amount of the price you paid for the site.

9. You must pay the full purchase price with cash or personal check before a deed will be given or burial allowed on a site. In the case of burials for which a site has not already been purchased, we require a good-faith assurance from the funeral home handling the burial that funds are available to pay for the site and the interment fee, before we will schedule or proceed with a grave opening. Should a scheduled burial be cancelled, for whatever reason, after we have opened and prepared the grave, the funeral home must pay us the interment fee plus a $100 cancellation fee.

10. We reserve the right to remove all flowers, wreaths, or other natural decorations without notice as soon as they become unsightly. Ceramic or glass vases or blocks (as receptacles for flowers), flags, artificial flowers, and other decorations may not be placed on graves or sites.

11. You may not place embellishments or effigies (for example, statuettes) on grave sites. We reserve the right to remove any embellishment on the site, or effigy or inscription.

12. Our Board of Trustees shall have sole discretion as to all matters regarding landscaping and plantings, including landscaping plan and care, pruning, revegetation of graves, and removal of vegetation. Please read our “Commemorative Planting Guide” for information on memorial plantings. No unauthorized plantings or hedges, fences or enclosures of any kind are permitted on or around sites (except where agreed upon to conform to religious practice). We may remove or alter unauthorized plantings or enclosures. 

13. Funerals must be completed at Greensprings by 4 p.m. so that we have sufficient time to properly close the grave and remove the equipment before 6 p.m. If advance notice is given to Greensprings, funeral parties may help close the grave.

14. All funerals, processions and vehicles will be under the control of Greensprings staff while at Greensprings. Discharging firearms is permitted at military funerals and prohibited at all other times.

15. No cut, machined, or polished markers or monuments of any kind are permitted. You may have engraved natural, flat rocks indigenous to or quarried in the Finger Lakes area, set flush with the ground and encompassing no more than 400 square inches, placed as markers over the grave.

16. Our workers and contractors may enter or cross over any cemetery site at Greensprings to perform normal cemetery operations.

17. Trails and lanes (and the visitors and staff who walk on them, or the equipment driven on them) may traverse a corner of your site, though no trail or lane will traverse the site of your actual burial. (See also 14.)

18. All work done at Greensprings, including but not limited to landscaping and care of sites, shall be done by Greensprings employees or by volunteers supervised by Greensprings employees.

19. Visitors may visit Greensprings during daylight hours, observing our rules and the propriety due to us. Your pets must be on a leash and under your control at all times. Motorcycles and other loud vehicles, except for trucks and equipment necessary for our operation, must park outside cemetery property. 

20. Disinterments will be allowed on regular business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., provided they are in compliance with all the provisions of Section 1510(e) of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.

21. We are open for burial seven days a week unless severe weather conditions preclude burial on any given day. We are closed on New Years Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If you need to arrange a burial on a holiday, you must get in touch with us at least two full days in advance of that holiday, and we will let you know within six hours whether we are able to accommodate you. 

22. If a burial needs to take place during seasons when ground conditions are unfavorable, such as (but not limited to) when deep snow is on the ground, we may not be able to dig the grave in the site originally selected. At these times, the original site must be exchanged for one in our winter burial area.

23. Concrete or steel vaults and grave liners will not be permitted at Greensprings. 

24. Bodies or cremains may be interred only in natural biodegradable materials such as (but not limited to) wood or a shroud. Ask us or your funeral director for guidance. Metal, concrete, plastic, or other synthetic materials and stone may not be used for interment at Greensprings. 

25. Remains that are embalmed or otherwise chemically preserved may not be interred at Greensprings except under special circumstances (such as the legal requirements of the state of origin or if the embalming was done accidentally before Greensprings’ requirements were known), and unless our Co-Directors grant approval.

26. We reserve the right to refuse to bury remains that have not been brought to Greensprings for more than seven days after death.

27. Graves may take several years to settle back to the original ground level. Note that sometimes graves settle unevenly, even from one day to the next. If you visit a grave and find uneven settling, please be assured that our caretaker will attend to it soon.

28. The Greensprings Natural Cemetery Association, and its trustees, officers, employees and agents assume no liability for damage, mental anguish, or loss caused by vandalism or other acts beyond its reasonable control.

29. These rules and regulations may be amended by our Trustees, but the amendments will not be effective until approved by the New York State Cemetery Board.