Feedback on Green Burials at Mountain View Cemetery - North Cowichan

Residents are invited to provide their feedback on whether the Municipality should set aside a portion of the property at Mountain View Cemetery (located on Somenos Road) for green burials.

A green burial is designed to sensitively lay someone to rest in an ecologically friendly way.  It is carried out with the least detrimental effect on the environment as possible.  The burial of the body is performed using only biodegradable materials; body wrappings/clothing must be of natural fibres; the containers of cardboard, woodchip or wood must be obtained from ecologically managed resources. The use of embalming fluid is discouraged.  The grave's surface will provide a habitat for flora, fauna, insects and mammals.

Instead of a metal casket placed in a vault lined with concrete, biodegradable boxes or cloth shrouds are used.  In Saanich, Royal Oak cemetery is believed to be the first green site to be developed in Canada.  They have constructed 1/3rd of an acre into a meadow in the middle of the forest.  After people are buried, trees and shrubs are periodically planted on the site and are allowed to mature thus attracting wildlife and assisting the self-seeding of flowers.  The area is cut two or three times a year, in the growing season, to encourage wild flowers.  Instead of traditional gravestones, there will be a common marker, likely a boulder, where names can be marked.  Caskets will be biodegradable and made of wood products, as well as unbleached recycled cardboard with a rigid base.

Feedback is to gauge the potential demand for this type of service, should it be made available.

Based on 2012 pricing, this service would be available at the following fees:

North Cowichan's Burial Price List:

Resident - Adult
- Grave:  Includes interment right, care fund and planting - $958
- Burial:  Opening, preparation of site for burial and closing of grave - $1,087

Non-resident - Adult
- Grave:  Includes interment right, care fund and planting - $1,844
- Burial:  Opening, preparation of site for burial and closing of grave - $1,891

Please provide feedback by emailing Terri atbrennan@northcowichan.ca or calling 250-746-3169, prior to 4:30pm on May 31, 2012.