Life Forest is a beautiful eco-friendly cemetery (specifically for cremated remains) located on 13 acres and surrounded by conservation land in Hillsborough, NH. I learned about it through a Google search for alternatives to traditional cemeteries in New Hampshire.
When I read that one of their missions is to “create a more positive experience than is often had by visiting a traditional cemetery,” I reached out to ask about a tour. And when I spoke to co-founder Mel Bennett and learned about her reasons for creating Life Forest, I knew it would be a special place.
I first visited Life Forest this past summer, and it was a special place indeed! I fell in love with the land, as well as Life Forest’s mission and vision. I loved it so much that I now regularly volunteer as an advisor of sorts, bringing my perspective as an end-of-life doula and interfaith minister.
Life Forest is unique for several reasons. The first is that it doesn’t look like a cemetery at all! At first glance, you might not even realize it’s a cemetery. However, as you look more closely, you will see small aluminum markers by each newly-planted tree. These trees are burial plots that are recorded by GPS coordinates, and each burial is deed recorded so that friends, family, and future generations can always visit. Along with a name and picture, each marker features a QR code that links to a memory page online.
Another reason that Life Forest is so unique is that they allow for the burial of both human and pet cremated remains. I was very moved by that idea, having left many beloved pets buried on properties I can no longer access. At this time, 45 people and 30 pets have been buried there.
Throughout the 13 acres, there are several beautiful locations you can choose for burial. Along the way, there is a pollinator garden, a “wind phone” or “phone on the wind,” where you can talk to loved ones who have passed on, a Little Free Library, a lovely brook, and hiking trails. Life Forest even hosts events like concerts and their newest event, the Midnight Market, earlier this month. In addition, I’m super excited to announce that I’m spearheading the creation of a stone labyrinth for grief work and meditation there as well. I’m hoping to see that come to fruition in the Spring of 2023.
Talking about disposition options like cremation and burial isn’t always easy, but Life Forest truly brings a whole new perspective to the process. They have funeral directors on staff, and I can work with you to create an end-of-life plan that includes Life Forest as your final resting place.
If you’d like to learn more about Life Forest, you can contact me directly or visit their website: http://www.thelifeforest.com for more details.