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Rumors, Myths and Reality–Green Burial in the Keweenaw

What is green burial? It’s a natural, environmentally-friendly alternative to embalming, steel caskets and burial vaults.  And it is available in the Keweenaw.

The Keweenaw Green Burial Alliance (KGBA)—a non-profit educational and advocacy organization—will give a community update on the status of green burial in our area, providing information and answering questions at a free public forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3 at the Portage Lake District Library.

There are a lot of rumors floating around about green burial.  Stephen Jukuri, president of the Keweenaw Green Burial Alliance and other KGBA board members will present the facts at the forum.

There are two cemeteries in the area that have designated sections for green burial: Chassell Township Cemetery and Forest Hill Cemetery in Portage Township. In those sections, bodies are not embalmed or are embalmed using only non-toxic green embalming fluid. Biodegradable caskets or simple shrouds are used, and they are not placed in burial vaults. This is a legal and economical alternative to conventional burial.

Chassell Township Cemetery now allows winter burial in their green plots. “This is the first time in generations that a local cemetery is offering winter burial,” said Jukuri. “Chassell Township is making a carefully planned, good-faith effort to address this need for those who wish to be buried as ‘greenly’ as possible, no matter what time of year they die.”

The challenge of winter burial is just one of many issues that have been addressed in the past couple years of green burial advocacy. The KGBA promises that there is a lot more to share at their upcoming forum, including progress made, lessons learned, rumors confirmed and rumors dispelled.

Plan to attend the community update, to find out more about green burial options in the Keweenaw.  For more information, visit the KGBA website at https://kgba.weebly.com or call Candy Peterson, 906-482-4696.

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