Chassell Township Cemetery adds new green burial sites

CHASSELL — The Chassell Township Cemetery has added more than two dozen new plots dedicated to green burial, the Keweenaw Green Burial Alliance (KGBA) has announced.

Five years ago, the cemetery created approximately 40 green grave sites in a secluded, forested area, a response to local interest in this traditional form of burial.

“Chassell Township has done an excellent job of creating burial areas that appeal to people’s sense of what is natural,” said Stephen Jukuri, president of the KGBA. “They have worked closely with our Alliance from the very start, and they sold out their original space quite fast.”

​Green burial seeks to return the body to the earth directly and simply and keep it within the cycle of life. It also minimizes environmental impact by using simple shrouds or biodegradable caskets, no toxic embalming fluids and no concrete vaults or grave liners.

Green burial is usually much less expensive than conventional burial. Furthermore, it emits far less carbon into the atmosphere than cremation, which typically requires a significant amount of fossil fuel consumption.

After the original grave sites sold out, Chassell Township added five more green burial areas, each with several plots. All are nestled in the woods.

“We’re happy to be able to expand our offerings,” said Joseph Youngman of the Chassell Public Works Department, who developed the green burial areas. “Interest in green burial is increasing, and it’s important to us to respond to the needs of our community.”

“While green burial may seem like a new practice, throughout most of human history burials were conducted this way,” said Jukuri. “As with so many things of environmental concern, maybe people actually got this one right the first time, too.”

For more information, contact the Chassell Township Office, 906-523-4000 or the Chassell Cemetery sexton, Craig Austin, 906-370-5827.


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