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Natural Burial Featured at the 10th Annual New Life Expo in San Francisco

Posted: 04/29/11 04:25 AM ET

This week, as I continued my conversations with Natural Burial advocates across the country, I learned about new developments in California and Pennsylvania.

Most immediately, this weekend Jane Hillhouse of Final Footprint will be a featured exhibitor at the 10th Annual New Living Expo at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco. Hillhouse will be providing information about natural burial as well as showing samples of her environmentally friendly and hand-crafted fair trade certified caskets and urns.

The New Living Expo is a natural venue for Hillhouse because the event brings together speakers and exhibitors specializing in health, healing, relationships, and sustainable living. Hillhouse has been part of the natural burial movement since she first learned about it in 1994 in England. Soon after, she brought her passion "across the pond" to the United States. Now she supplies biodegradable caskets and urns to families and funeral homes throughout this country.

The New Living Expo is being held Friday, April 29th, 3:00-10:00 pm; Saturday, April 31st, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; and Sunday, May 1st, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Farther north, Georgianna Wood reported that North Coast Natural Burial is now using Facebook. "Friending" the group is one way to receive new information and connect with persons who are interested in natural burial. Their goal is to find land to create a conservation burial park in Humboldt County in northern California. According to Wood, advocates from North Coast Natural Burial were well-received at the annual Funeral Consumers Alliance meeting where they presented their vision and examples of environmentally friendly caskets and urns.

Wood also reported that the Penn Hills, Pennsylvania city council recently gave the green light to Pete McQuillin of Green Burial Pittsburgh and Land Conservation Cemeteries to create Penn Forest Natural Burial Park. Wood also provided a link to Zak Koeske's article about Penn Forest in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. According to McQuillin, Penn Forest is designed to be a 30-acre natural burial park and wildlife sanctuary surrounded by a walking trail. As in other natural burial grounds throughout the country, graves in Penn Forest will be indicated either by stone or wood markers, or by trees. McQuillin's hope, like that of many natural burial advocates, is that people will come to think of the burial park primarily as a forest and sanctuary.