Today, more than ever before, families have more options and choices for honoring, remembering and celebrating a life lived. Spring Grove is your full-service end-of-life provider for Cincinnati families. At Spring Grove, you will find choices to meet every family’s traditions and circumstances, from elaborate celebrations to services simpler and more convenient, all in one place.
- Multiple full-service funeral homes conveniently located around the city to serve you
- Several venues including chapels, family gathering rooms, event and reception rooms, outdoor gardens and historic chapels
- Two beautifully maintained historic cemeteries and an arboretum
- Banquet facilities and catering services
- Streaming and recording capabilities for services and events
- Licensed Celebrants on staff
- Onsite cremation services and observation room so your loved one never leaves our care
- On-going aftercare and support and remembrance events to serve the community
- Memorialization specialists offering options and design for markers, monuments, benches and private estates
Burial traditions across many cultures have one thing in common—that a permanent resting place is essential for honoring and remembering loved ones. When considering burial options for yourself or a loved one, be sure to choose a burial option (ground burial, interment in a crypt, natural burial, burial at sea, etc.) that seems befitting for both your loved one and family.
What Does a Traditional Burial Entail?
Funeral homes or services that provide traditional burial typically offer a full-service option that includes fees for the funeral director and staff, transportation of body, embalming, burial containers (casket and vault), facilities for a visitation or viewing, arrangements for memorial or funeral services, graveside services, opening-and-closing costs (gravesite preparation, back-filling, and landscaping), and the hearse and other necessary vehicles. Financial preparations could also include the cost of a cemetery lot or crypt, perpetual care of gravesite (sometimes added onto the total cost of a lot), a grave liner (if necessary), and the grave marker, monument, or headstone (which could include fees for installation).
Know Your Options
Choices for burial options can vary greatly, depending on your preferences and budget. Cemeteries typically provide most, or all, of these property options for selection and purchase:
- Single burial space – used for the burial of one person or cremated remains
- Double-depth space – used for two individual persons, one buried at a deeper depth and the other buried at a normal depth on top of the first
- Family lot – a designated area used for multiple family members
- Mausoleum – a building, public or private, for above-ground placement of caskets within crypt spaces.
- Private Mausoleum – a building, typically an adorned stand-alone building, that houses the remains of family members and creates a space of private visitation
- Community Mausoleums – a community, usually climate-controlled building, where families can select the location and level of crypt and personalize crypt plates and crypt markers
Whether you are a committed environmentalist, a lover of the outdoors, or just want something simple and unique, the trend to green allows every family to celebrate a life in a way that is more meaningful for them and healthier for our planet.
Green burials are a relatively “new” practice based on techniques used by some cultures for thousands of years. Green burial generally means that the body, which is not embalmed, is buried in an eco-friendly casket (possibly in a shroud) in a manner that allows it to return to the earth as quickly as possible. That is why green burials are also called natural burials or eco-burials.
Webster’s online dictionary defines the word “green” (as it pertains to products and services) as “not harmful to the environment.” A green funeral (also known as a natural funeral, eco-funeral or environmentally friendly funeral) is generally any end-of-life ritual that is as harmless as possible for the environment. This can include burial in a green or “natural” cemetery.
At death—the final rite of passage—we use ritual to celebrate, honor and preserve the memory of a life. Many environmentally conscious families today seek a mix of traditional and green funeral options. Many people pre-plan a funeral so that their family will know their final wishes ahead of time. With a little additional planning, that funeral can be a greener eco-funeral as well.
The essence of a greener funeral is reducing its environmental impact. Many people find that in doing so they also make the funeral more natural and meaningful for the mourners. Among the options for a greener funeral are:
Biodegradable Funeral Products
- Green Caskets and biodegradable urns:
- There are more options now, including eco-friendly caskets made from sustainable materials such as sustainably grown willow, seagrass or bamboo. Biodegradable greener caskets are also a better choice because they break down more readily in the soil and are therefore acceptable for burial in a green cemetery.
- There are many options for biodegradable urns made of sustainable, eco-friendly materials. These come in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs.
Donations – Encourage donations to charity in lieu of flowers. If you do display a few arrangements, choose locally produced, organically raised flowers. A high percentage of the cut flowers sold in the U.S. are imported; buying locally also reduces the carbon footprint of the funeral.
Carpool – Reduce carbon emissions by driving fewer cars to the funeral. Consider shuttling the mourners to the graveside service in passenger vans or have families and friends carpool. Statistics and information from Green Burial Council, Wikipedia & from funeral industry sources.
Beginning in 2018, Spring Grove Cemetery developed and introduced what is known as our “Green Burial” section. The term “Green Burial” is an area designated for interment of those who choose their remains to be interred without the means of preservation allowing the body to decompose naturally. No burial vault, body preservation or non-biodegradable caskets are utilized. In addition, Spring Grove Funeral Homes partnered to provide packages that included both funeral and cemetery options for families.
There are some important restrictions and requirements for burial or placement in these green burial areas (these are subject to change at any time). We have chosen to keep some of the green burial process completed by machines instead of by hand to ensure the safety of our staff and interment team.
- Decedents will not and cannot be embalmed (therefore, no public viewing with an open casket can be provided)
- Caskets and Urns
- Caskets are required and must be manufactured with 100% biodegradable green burial material, made of braided or woven sustainable materials such as bamboo, wicker, willow, sea grass, wool, etc.
- Caskets must be fully covered (half lids are not acceptable)
- No metal components, no carriers or trundles
- Urn containers must be made of a biodegradable material. Untreated wood urns are acceptable, no added chemicals, such as varnish/polyurethane, etc. is acceptable.
- Only urns and caskets approved by the Green Burial Council (www.GreenBurialCouncil.org) are acceptable with the above restrictions.
- This is the only section(s) of our cemetery where outer burial containers are not required.
- Green Burial graves will be dug in the same manner as every grave opening in Spring Grove. They will be dug with the backhoe at an average depth of 4 ½ feet. Graves will be filled using the backhoe, although we will allow families a couple options if they choose to observe the interment. Shovels will be made available to anyone who wishes to fill the grave. If our cemetery staff is requested to fill the grave while participants stay to observe, we will backfill by hand.
- Green Burial graves will not be power tamped. They will be mounded and filled as needed allowing natural settling to take place. After a duration of time when staff members determine the settling process complete, the site will be seeded
- Spring Grove Cemetery has a Kinkara-Kart that can be used to transport the decedent from the van or funeral vehicle to the gravesite. To best describe it, it is a wooden wagon that is rustic with a wooden flat bed, wooden spoke wheels and means for pulling it by hand. The Kinkara-Kart will be along the road adjacent to where the grave site is located to transport the decedent to the grave site. We do not recommend or allow a procession along the roads of the cemetery using this cart. It is intended to transport the green burial casket from the van or funeral vehicle to the gravesite. If inclement weather makes it too hazardous to use the Kinkara-Kart, our interment staff members will place a tasteful piece of plywood or like material to enable safe transport to the gravesite by pall bearers.
- Our green section will be mowed; however, we will not apply herbicides for week control. While we want the area to appear natural, we do want to keep the area nicely manicured.
- Bodies or cremated remains will not be recoverable for removal and reburial later. No disinterment’s or disinurnment’s are permitted.
(Attachment of Green Burial packages – 2 pages with pricing – GPL)
About Passages International – our partner of choice for green burial products
Passages International, Inc. was founded in 1999, as the now rapidly growing trend for greener funerals was at its earliest stage. While many companies now offer some green funeral merchandise, Passages provides sustainable choices. We design and produce many of our own products and stand behind them. Our quality and service are unsurpassed. The breadth of our offerings is unavailable anywhere else.
Passages is a family owned and operated business, and we have over 75 years of combined service to the funeral industry. Our family has been serving the funeral needs of communities in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado for almost 50 years.
We are proud to be approved by Green America as a socially and environmentally responsible business. You can read more about Passage’s business practices on our Green Statement page. We are also a member of the Green Burial Council, an organization working to make burial more meaningful, simple, and sustainable, and have been a member since their inception. We offer by far the greatest variety of product that has been approved by the Green Burial Council.
A growing number of people are looking for greener funeral options. Passages offers the most complete selection of sustainably produced and biodegradable urns, caskets, and memorial products. We are dedicated to offering personalized options to families who desire environmentally friendly choices for their end-of-life rituals.
We began the company by providing affordable and environmentally friendly options for families who chose to have a more eco-conscious ritual for their loved ones. Our urns offered an alternative to the cardboard and plastic box containing a loved one’s cremated remains that was typically given to grieving families who did not select an urn.
Now, in addition to our biodegradable Earthurn Collection, we offer biodegradable water burial urns, scattering tubes, eco-friendly caskets, keepsakes and remembrances, and pet loss products. All our products are produced using sustainable processes and materials.
Did you know that there are more than 100 green cemeteries in the US today? Ten years ago, there were only 5.
Below are additional resources that can help you make informed choices about greener funerals and burials. You can also speak to your funeral professional who can offer more information on greener funeral options. https://www.passagesinternational.com/ Green Burial Council – An independent, tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainable death care and the use of burial as a new means of protecting natural areas. www.Greenburialcouncil.org National Funeral Director’s Association FAQ about green funeral services. www.nfda.org The Natural End, which provides a map listing natural burial providers in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.
Body donation can vary from state to state and there are many different body donation organizations.
This section includes information on the body donation program we most frequently work with which is the University of Cincinnati Body Donation Program. Please see the link to their website for requirements, forms, and program information. In addition, we’ve included the link to their most frequently asked questions which often come up at the time of death.
UC Body Donation Link: https://med.uc.edu/bodydonation
UC Body Donation FAQs: https://med.uc.edu/bodydonation/frequently-asked-questions
Body Donation Program
Medical Sciences Building
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO BOX 670667
Cincinnati, OH 45267
Mail Location: 0667