its0nlynatural.jpg A Natural burial ground in New Zealand is providing a forest with a new lease of life.

A natural burial project at Waikumete Cemetery in west Auckland is helping individuals make environmentally friendly choices in death, while giving a native forest a chance to thrive.  Waikumete is New Zealand's largest cemetery and one of the country's largest urban parks.  Since 1886, it has served as the main cemetery for the Auckland region.  In 1999, it became the first cemetery in New Zealand to open an eco or natural burial area.

 

A natural burial is the interment of a body in the soil in a manner that allows the body to recycle naturally.  The intention is to minimise the burial's environmental impact.  Natural burials do not typically permit embalming chemicals.  This helps speed up the natural process of returning the body and its nutrients to the soil, and reduces the amount of atificial and toxic chemicals and materials that make their way into the environment.

This article is published in the Australasian Parks and Leisure, Spring 2016.  To read the full article go to Australasian Parks and Leisure, pages 46 and 47.