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Memorial Ecosystems - Leaders in Conservation Burial Friday, August 18, 2017
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Perhaps passing through the gates of death is like passing quietly through the gate in a pasture fence. On the other side, you keep walking, without the need to look back. No shock, no drama, just the lifting of a plank or two in a simple wooden gate in a clearing. Neither pains, nor floods of great light, nor great voices, but just the silent crossing of a meadow.

-Mark Helprin

 

The Ramsey Creek Preserve is a nature preserve, dedicated to restoring and maintaining a home for native plants and animals. We think that maintaining and restoring this natural native beauty is the most important monument to the memory of loved ones that families can help create. Accordingly, we have carefully developed a number of guidelines and opportunities for families to ensure that they can participate in preserve restoration, and create personal memorials that do not detract from the overall naturalness of the preserve. While some of the rules might seem arbitrary, our staff can explain why specific restrictions are necessary.

 Plantings and Grave Care

Families often want to plant a wild shrub or flower at the gravesite. In most cases, we encourage the practice, but within our guidelines:

  • All plants must be native and appropriate to the site. No artificial plants are allowed
  • Plants should be selected from a list furnished by Ramsey Creek Staff. A source of the plants will also be provided
  • A staff member should be present at the time of planting or can do the actual planting if the family prefers. In certain backcountry areas where plant diversity is already high, families might prefer to do a memorial planting elsewhere in the preserve where it is needed more. Families will not prune, "weed" or otherwise harm native plants on or near the gravesite without explicit and specific permission from Ramsey Creek Staff, for each time such modification is desired
  • If a client or family picks an interment site "off trail", families may not create a trail to the site. In the case of large tree blow-down, staff should be notified In general, however, the trees will not be moved-even if the tree falls on a grave. Dead wood on the forest floor is a vital part of the forest ecosystem
  • The Ramsey Creek Preserve is a work in progress. We will notify families of larger scale ecological restoration activities (such as wildflower meadow restoration) when they occur, and will encourage active participation. Small-scale seed collecting for planting at home is allowed, but should be coordinated with a staffer. Picking wildflowers is strictly prohibited.

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 Monuments

Because of our computerized location system, and reference markers along the trail, stone markers are not required. They are allowed, but must meet certain specifications. All stone monuments must be of native stone, consistent with the geology of the site. Ramsey Creek can provide an appropriate stone on request. Stones brought from the outside must be approved prior to placement.

In general, stones should be flat to the ground Carvings/artwork other than names and dates must be approved by the Ramsey Creek Staff.

Families may not gather rocks from other areas of the preserve without the permission of the Staff. Families may not build stone piles. In some cases, to create a more natural look, more than one stone can be used to create a monument, but such a marker must be pre-approved


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 Life History Archive

All families are allowed one page of information in our life history archive, along with a photo. Grave location and a photo of the grave area are also included. Larger archives are available for a reasonable fee. We encourage developing genealogies and memory collections from friends and families: stories, photos, etc.

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 Pets

Please feel free to bring your dogs, but they need to be on leashes and please dean up after them if they foul trails .

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