Into the woods
In "Underground movements" I discussed some novels new solutions to the very old problem of how to dispose of human remains.
The same question has been vexing New York Times commentator Richard Conniff. In a piece titled "This is how I want to be dead," Conniff brings us up to date on woodland cemeteries or . which use proceeds from the sale of burial plots in which to inter unembalmed bodies in biodegradable coffins to buy and preserve undeveloped land.
The basic idea is that people who love to spend time in the woods pay to be buried there. This means hunters may lie down with tree-huggers. But ideological sparring is unlikely to be an issue. It typically costs $3,000 to $6,000 for a grave and to preserve the land in its natural state in perpetuity. Some of these cemeteries allow unobtrusive grave markers. Others locate graves by GPS coordinates. They tend to look less like cemeteries and more like fields and woods, with walking trails.
There are reportedly more than 200 such “natural burial grounds” in Britain but only seventy or so in the United States--many of them, interestingly,in the South. The only one I can find in Illinois is Windridge Memorial Park and Nature Sanctuary in Cary up in McHenry County