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Green burial option at The Preserve cemetery



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William Burr, director of All Saints Cemetery’s new expansion, The Preserve, offers a natural burial option. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
October 13, 2010 - Those living a green life can make a final contribution to the environment after death at The Preserve, All Saints Cemetery, offering natural burial.

"It's for people who want to be buried naturally, from dyed-in-the-wool environmentalists to those just interested in conservation," said William Burr, director of the cemetery at 4401 Nelsey Road, part of the Mt. Elliott Cemetery Association

A natural burial does not include embalming chemicals, and replaces metal and concrete caskets with pine or wicker.

Graves, marked by natural boulders, can be placed along a winding trail for visitation, or placed naturally in the field. These won't be marked for visitation, but names can be engraved in a stone wall placed there.

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The Preserve includes more than 50 acres of gently rolling land, with 15 acres of protected wetlands adjoining Lake Maceday.

The grounds are preserved in a natural state, with woodlands, meadows, and prairie. The property is natural, with no mowing and landscaping of a traditional cemetery.

The project was completed with the help of local experts and companies such as Jim Brueck of Clarkston, planting native grasses, wild flowers, and shrubs, and Lowrie's Landscape, constructing a bridge and stone wall.

"I shopped local," said Burr, also president of Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce.

In Clarkston, Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home is certified with the Green Burial Council to offer environmentally friendly choices, in addition to traditional services.

"We offer many 'shades of green' services, from utilizing burial shrouds or caskets made of natural materials to the use of eco-friendly preparation techniques for viewing," said Jenni Simsack, funeral director at the Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home. "While traditional burial is by no means harmful, some families are seeking out alternative services. People can still have a traditional, but more eco-friendly, service."

For information on The Preserve, check www.michigannaturalburial.com. Call Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home at 248-625-5231.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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