River View Cemetery and our on-site funeral home, are pleased to offer natural burial and funeral options for individuals who wish to have a simple, environmentally friendly service and burial.
Unlike some cemeteries that only allow natural burials in one specific section of the cemetery, River View Cemetery has become one of the first cemeteries in the nation to allow natural burial in nearly every area of the cemetery. In the coming years River View plans to open a new section of the cemetery as a dedicated Natural Burial Area - free from harmful chemicals and pesticides. And in the future, we expect to make natural burial available in our beautiful forested sections. Read our Natural Burial Newsletter and sign up today to receive periodic updates on natural burial.
What is Natural Burial?
River View Cemetery defines natural burial as the burial of human remains directly in the earth, without an outer burial container (such as a vault or liner) and without being embalmed with toxic chemicals (e.g. formaldehyde). With natural burial, the deceased is buried in a biodegradable casket, or wrapped in a shroud and lowered into the grave on a specially designed, biodegradable board to facilitate respectful placement in the grave.
Natural burial allows a person to have their body returned completely and naturally to the earth, to ultimately nourish trees and plantings that make River View Cemetery such a beautiful place.
Why is natural burial becoming popular?
There are several reasons: the desire to have a simpler, environmentally-friendly burial; and the desire to return to the earth as quickly as possible, without unnatural barriers such as embalming, sealed metal caskets, or steel-reinforced concrete burial vaults.
Is natural burial a new idea?
No, in fact it is an old idea. For the first 50 years of River View Cemetery’s existence, all of the burials were “natural”, using simple wood caskets and no outer burial containers. The natural burial movement is actually taking us back to the past.
If an outer burial container is not required for natural burial, won’t the grave sink in?
As time passes, a natural burial site will settle and require periodic additions of soil. A fee for this additional upkeep of the gravesite will be assessed when a natural burial interment right is initially purchased.
Does this mean that natural burial is more expensive than traditional burial?
No. All extra fees charged by the cemetery for a natural burial are more than made up for by the savings the client will realize by not having to purchase an outer burial container.
Is cremation considered to be natural?
No. Although flame cremation is a simpler and often less expensive method of disposition, it is not environmentally friendly. Flame based crematories burn fossil fuels and also cause air pollution, neither of which can be considered natural
Aqua Cremation is a water-based process is alkaline hydrolysis. It is the same process that occurs as part of nature’s course when a body is laid to rest in the soil. A combination of water flow, temperature, and alkalinity is used to accelerate nature’s process. We offer both types of cremation at River View Cemetery Funeral Home.
Is the funeral also less expensive if natural products and services are selected?
Generally, yes. Natural funeral plans do offer some financial savings as compared to a more traditional funeral arrangement. For example, many of the natural burial caskets are less expensive than their traditional alternatives.
How can I be certain that my wishes to have natural burial are carried out?
Pre-planning is vital to ensure that your individual wishes for a natural funeral and burial are met. Call River View Cemetery at 503-246-4251 and ask to speak to an advance-planning representative. You will receive all the information you need, with no obligation to buy. It is also important that you advise your nearest next-of-kin of your wishes, especially if you have not pre-arranged those wishes with our cemetery and funeral home.
River View Cemetery
Phone: (503) 246-4251
300 South Taylors Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97219
8421 South Macadam Avenue, Portland, OR 97219
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