Growing Green Burial the UU Way

Posted on August 20, 2019
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STRETCH GOAL ADDED: $10,000 “Green burial” is the ancient, environmentally sound and sustainable way to return to the earth when we die. Heritage UU Church is putting our principles into action by purchasing and preserving 40 beautiful acres of farmland outside Cincinnati, Ohio, to create a nature sanctuary and green burial ground for our region.
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In November 2016, Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, created Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary LLC, a non-profit 501(c)3 with the mission of “providing a natural or ‘green’ burial option in Greater Cincinnati while preserving a part of God’s creation for future generations.” Now, nearly three years later, we are in contract to purchase and preserve 40 beautiful acres of farmland in a rapidly developing suburb just east of town — land that would otherwise almost certainly become yet another shopping center or subdivision filled with cookie-cutter suburban homes.

Green burial is a growing movement in the U.S., designed to stop our culture’s wasteful and environmentally harmful burial practices by returning to age-old human rituals and traditions: simple, dignified burial without concrete vaults, metal caskets, or toxic embalming. Heritage Acres will be only the third such burial preserve in the state of Ohio, and the only one of its kind within a 150-mile radius of Cincinnati. And without a doubt, it will be the first green burial sanctuary in the world created and owned by a Unitarian Universalist church.

Our contract requires us to close on the purchase by Nov. 1, or the property will go back on the market and, most likely, be bought up by a developer. To date we have raised a little more than $250,000 of the $300,000 purchase price. In this Faithify proposal we are seeking just one percent of the total amount needed to buy and preserve this land — $3,000. Here’s your chance be part of the one percent! (Donors, if they wish, will receive a limited-edition “Donate Your Body to Nature” green burial bumper sticker to proudly display on your Prius, refrigerator, or wherever you like…).

By now we can almost hear you asking, “What will happen after you have bought the land?” Glad you asked! With an active and engaged Board that includes one member who has previously overseen a green burial preserve elsewhere — and with rules and regulations, zoning and other infrastructure already in place — Heritage Acres is ready to go operational and expects to be open to the public by the end of the year. Then, as with other green burial sanctuaries nationwide, we will use the fees paid by families for burial to maintain and preserve the land in a natural state, in perpetuity.

Learn more about us, and our vision for spreading the good news of natural burial, by visiting our website at heritageacresmemorial.org. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/heritageacresmemorial, or follow us on Instagram at instagram.com/greenburialcincy.

Stretch Goals

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Making UU Green Burial Real 10,000.00

We need a total of $300,000 to purchase the land for Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary, and we need to come up with it by Nov. 1!
To date we have just over $275,000, and any amount we can generate through Faithify will help us get there. Thank you!

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