Green Burial at O.U.R Ecovillage
Everyone at O.U.R. Ecovillage strives to achieve sustainability in all aspects of the lifestyle we have chosen to live. On personal levels, we are working for sustainable relationships with each other, with work and with play. As a village we are constantly trying new ways of planting, growing, cultivating and harvesting food, building our infrastructure and even birthing ideas and people. The founding members also realized in the visioning process of the Ecovillage that it would be ignorant to deny that death didn’t have a roll to play in sustainability on the land.
And, as the Ecovillage has evolved, Brandy has carried this vision into conversation with various folks about the feasibility of the project, so much so that it was included in the rezoning project of O.U.R. This long term vision and dream became more of a reality for the Ecovillage on December 6th, 2010 when Erika Schade, an intern through the BC Co-op Association, started her 14 week internship as the Green Burial Project Assistant. She began working closely with the village, The Land Conservancy of BC and the Green Burial Council of Canada to make the project manifest.
Now, this month, Erika and the green burial committee have solidified the vision of what the Green Burial project will look like here on the land. The Green Burial project, dubbed “O.U.R. Commemorative Legacy Project” is not only part of our mandate for sustainability, but also contributes to the land conservation partnership between O.U.R. and The Land Conservancy of BC. Certain areas of the land have been designated as scattering grounds, where people will be able to scatter the cremated remains of their loved ones. The laws under the Cemetery Act in BC prohibit full body burial on land that is not designated a cemetery, as well as marked burial sites or burial of containers. In compliance with this limitations O.U.R. is giving people the opportunity to choose theirs and their loved ones resting place on land that is forever protected from development.
I feel honoured to put out into collective consciousness that the depth of this project goes far beyond the O.U.R. woodlands being a simple scattering grounds. Our non profit status and our partnership with TLC means that we are the only site in Canada that offers end of life services where 100% of the offerings go to the protection of the land and the activities on it! From my perspective, feeling the green burial aspect of O.U.R. vision become manifest in such an ethical way has allowed the deep desire for wholeness in the cycles of life to rise to the surface of our awareness on-site. As a result, while we find ourselves struggling at times to maintain the balance between life and death, growth and decay, spring and fall, the space of intentional community and lifestyle is starting to feel that much more complete. Please feel free to express your comments and questions below! We look forward to hearing your responses.