Wednesday, April 17

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Notes from the Pyre: Natural Burial Ground update

On October 19, 2021, the Saguache County Commissioners granted permission to the Crestone End of Life Project (CEOLP) to establish a Natural Burial Ground adjacent to the existing open-air pyre site. The Natural Burial Ground will serve Saguache County residents or property owners who are registered with the CEOLP.

Two sources of generosity made pursuing this project possible. The Dragon Mountain Temple board of directors, with Abbots Steve Allen and Angelique Farrow, agreed to donate a portion of their land for this endeavor. A bequest from Christine Dupre’s family provided the funds to pursue the Conditional Use Modification’s legal and fiscal requirements.

The Natural Burial Ground will be located on the gentle slope to the left, as you face the pyre enclosure. Natural or “green” burial is a form of land stewardship. CEOLP’s vision is to have all graves hand-dug and sited between plant material, for minimal environmental impact. After the burial ceremony the site is restored to its original condition. A metal marker will be placed in the grave and a simple local stone will be placed to mark the site. Location of graves will be indicated on a digital site map. Further, because this is private land, there is a document that accompanies the Death Certificate, recording location and other pertinent information for Vital Statistics.

CEOLP will continue to provide the same services to those registrants choosing Natural Burial as it currently provides for open-air cremation.

Over the next months, the CEOLP/IFC board and volunteers will create an implementation plan that will address each aspect of the burial process, ensuring that the mindful, compassionate support our community has grown familiar with when being engaged with CEOLP services will be fully present at the Natural Burial Ground.

For more information on the Crestone End of Life Project (CEOLP) and its educational outreach branch Informed Final Choices, visit

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