HERITAGE ACRES MEMORIAL SANCTUARY RULES AND REGULATIONSHeritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary, LLC (“Heritage Acres”) exists to provide a natural burial option in the Greater Cincinnati area. Heritage Acres is a registered non-profit limited liability company in the State of Ohio, owned by Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church (2710 Newtown Road, Cincinnati, OH 45244), and is operated as both a natural or “green” burial ground, and for preserving its land holdings from any future development through a land trust agreement.
Green BurialAs a natural burial ground, Heritage Acres will strive as much as possible to follow the guidelines of the Green Burial Council (greenburialcouncil.org). Whether actively pursuing GBC certification or not, Heritage Acres shall, at a minimum, require of all burials (either full-body or cremains) that:
- The body shall not have been embalmed;
- Any container, casket, urn, shroud or clothing buried in the ground at Heritage Acres shall be fully biodegradable and shall be made of natural, plant-derived materials;
- No concrete vaults (partial, inverted or otherwise), vault lids, concrete boxes, slabs or partitioned liners, or any other non-biodegradable materials, shall be buried in the ground at Heritage Acres;
- No glass, plastic, or other non-biodegradable containers or materials shall be placed on grave sites;
- No toxic chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides shall be used on the grounds of Heritage Acres;
- Both the burial grounds of Heritage Acres and any wilderness area shall be preserved and maintained in a natural fashion. Grass will not be cut on a regular basis. Only approved, native vegetation may be planted at Heritage Acres. Any landscaping shall be minimal, naturally introduced and maintained, and shall be compatible with regional ecosystems;
- Any grave markers or other markings, signage, or flowers shall be tasteful, and comprised only of natural materials;
- Heritage Acres reserves the right to refuse or remove any items placed within its grounds that do not adhere to these restrictions.
- Heritage Acres relies upon the identification of the deceased provided to us by the next-of-kin or other authorized representative, and shall have no obligation to independently establish or verify the identity of the remains to be interred.
- Each body burial plot (“interment space”) sold shall be a minimum of 8 feet by 10 feet. The dimensions of the actual grave dug on the plot shall be determined by circumstances such as the size of the burial container or body and soil, slope, tree roots, etc.;
- Graves shall be a minimum of 42 inches deep;
- Instead of a single body burial, up to four sets of inurned cremains may be buried within one interment space;
- Smaller plots for burial of single or double inurned cremains shall be available;
- Smaller plots for burial of pets or their cremains shall also be available;
- Only small, tasteful grave markers of natural, native materials such as fieldstone or creekstone, wood, etc., will be allowed. Engraving of brief, appropriate memorialization such as name and dates of the deceased, symbols and messages will be allowed. All grave markers must be flat to the ground. Heritage Acres must approve all grave markers or decorations;
- Aligned with Universalist principles, Heritage Acres shall not discriminate in any way against any person for any reason – including but not limited to gender, age, religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation or ability.
Services OfferedThe mission of Heritage Acres is to provide a natural burial option in the Greater Cincinnati area. As such we shall offer:
- Sites for body burial and burial of cremains (both humans and pets);
- A scatter garden for comingled scattering of cremains (both humans and pets);
- Grave-opening (family and loved ones shall be allowed to assist in the digging of a grave if desired). Hand-dug graves are preferred, but under certain circumstances Heritage Acres my require that a grave be machine-dug;
- Grave-closing (family and loved ones shall be allowed to assist in closing the grave if desired). Heritage Acres reserves the right to mix natural biomass with soils at the time of interment to enhance ecological processes. Final filling of the grave may include the creation of a mound that will settle over time;
- Graveside services shall be allowed as the grave location, space and situation permit;
- A free consultation with the person or persons seeking to make arrangements for a burial at Heritage Acres;
- Administrative services, referral to funeral providers and local or county authorities, and appropriate record keeping and plot location (including GPS marking of graves);
- The loving presence of a representative or representatives of Heritage Acres at, during and following the burial.
Use of the PropertyHeritage Acres shall double as a nature preserve and natural burial ground. As such, it is expected that the public will occasionally be present to enjoy its pristine natural beauty.
- Visitors, hikers, etc., shall remain on clearly defined trails at all times;
- All persons shall comply with posted property hours. After-hours grave visitation or hiking is not allowed;
- All visitors use Heritage Acres property at their own risk. Given that the grounds are a nature preserve, visitors assume all risks associated with hazards found in natural environments, including but not limited to slip, trip and fall hazards, uneven terrain and paths, holes, wet grass, low tree branches, falling and fallen tree limbs, etc. Wildlife may be present. Plants may be present that could cause an allergic reaction. Proper care should be taken at all times. Heritage Acres shall not be responsible for any injury or death, or damage to personal property that may occur due to the use of its property;
- Pets must be on a leash at all times. Owners shall clean up after their pets.
Founders CircleDuring the calendar year 2017, persons contributing to the initial startup of Heritage Acres will have the opportunity to be honored as members of the Heritage Acres “Founders Circle.”
- A tax-deductible donation of $2,500 made to Heritage Acres on or before Dec. 31, 2017, will allow one individual to become part of the Heritage Acres Founders Circle;
- Founders Circle members will be permanently remembered on a suitable plaque or marker on the property, in keeping with the signage restrictions listed above under “Green Burial,” and will be listed in promotional material and other descriptions of Heritage Acres as deemed appropriate. From time to time, events and celebrations in their honor will be offered;
- Persons in the Founders Circle shall have the option to pre-purchase burial rights at any time, at 50% less than the current burial price. If someone in the Founders Circle dies without having pre-purchased burial rights, their estate may purchase at-need burial rights at 25% less than the current burial price;
- If Heritage Acres has yet to establish an operating cemetery at the time of the death of a member of the Founders Circle, their one-time, $2,500 tax-deductible donation is not refundable. However, the deceased’s estate may request a refund of any pre-purchased burial rights. In addition, if Heritage Acres dissolves prior to establishing an operating cemetery, any pre-purchases made, other than tax-deductible donations, will be refunded.
Price ListPrices and costs shall be listed in a separate Appendix.
Rules and Regulations current as of May 20, 2017