Going Green

By Royal Oak Burial Park

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Many people who spend their lives being mindful of their environmental impact wish to leave the world as they have tried to live in it. While death can be a difficult subject, keeping ethical beliefs and environmental convictions in mind while tending to end-of-life arrangements can create a meaningful send-off. Green burial is a powerful statement of personal values: it is the last environmentally sensitive act a person can perform.

In green burial, the deceased are returned to the earth to decompose naturally and contribute to new life. A body is prepared without embalming and buried in a biodegradable shroud, simple container or casket made from natural fibre, wicker or sustainably harvested wood.

Established in 2008 as Canada’s first urban green burial site, the Woodlands interment zones at Royal Oak Burial Park allow individual graves to become part of the local, natural landscape and contribute to the environmental sustainability of the larger, community eco-system. 

As burials occur, a selection of native trees, shrubs, perennials, groundcover and spring bulbs are planted in clusters on and around gravesites. Families can choose some of what will be planted on their gravesites by selecting from a range of approved native plants offered by the Burial Park. For some graves, a young tree may be chosen from an adjacent tree nursery and any remaining open space is restored with native grasses and wildflowers.

For every burial, a permanent record of all pertinent details, including the precise location of the interment zone, is created and this record is maintained in perpetuity at the Burial Park office.

The Burial Park has performed more than 1oo green burials and many more families have pre-planned their green burials at the Woodlands. The public are welcome to visit the Burial Park and see the Woodlands site at any time.

For more information about green burial, visit Royal Oak Burial Park’s website, www.robp.ca, email at info@robp.ca or simply call us at 250-658-5621.

Community owned since 1923, Royal Oak Burial Park, is greater Victoria’s only not for profit cemetery.  

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