Natural Burial Program Update
June 2014
From the Director's Desk

A few weeks ago, I attended a national convention of cemetery operators in Las Vegas. I try to attend each year to stay abreast of changes within the industry. Over the last several years, the natural burial movement has been one of the most talked about trends. As the world has become increasingly concerned with climate change and the health of our environment, the role that funeral and burial practices play in these matters has gone largely unaddressed. That's now changing as people ask, "What if my final act could be a gift to the planet, a force for regeneration?"


This year's convention featured the recently-released independent film, "A Will For The Woods". Produced and co-directed by Amy Browne, it's the story of Clark Wang, an advocate for natural burial who planned his own while battling and finally succumbing to lymphoma. This poignant, often heart-rending movie depicts a man's quest for a final resting place that will benefit the earth. The film is an emotional and insightful portrait of a person coming to terms with death by embracing its essential role in nature. Clark allowed the final months of his life and death to be filmed as a witness to the power, significance, and beauty that he saw in natural burial. He wanted the world to see the life-affirming power of this "new-old" idea that our bodies should return to the earth naturally.


Early on, River View Cemetery became a sponsor of this movie by donating to the costs of production. We now hold the screening rights for the Portland area. Stay tuned for future announcements about time and place for the Portland debut of "A Will For The Woods".


In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like a speaker on natural burial for your organization or community group. We are proud to make natural burial available nearly anywhere in our beautiful cemetery, as we continue to develop our plans for a new dedicated natural burial garden.


I hope you'll share this update with others (use the Forward to a Friend button below) and share your thoughts with me ([email protected]).


David Noble
Executive Director
River View Cemetery Association
At River View, you can plan to be buried nearly anywhere in the cemetery, directly in the earth without chemical embalming, in a biodegradable casket or a simple shroud.  In the future, River View plans to begin construction of a new, dedicated Natural Burial Area - free from harmful chemicals and pesticides. And in coming years, we expect to make natural burial available in our beautiful forested areas.  For more information:





Click here to watch A Will for the Woods trailer, in which Clark Wang plans his own natural burial while battling lymphoma.
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