Thanks to your support, Bluestem will open to the public Sunday, November 20, 2022
We are inspired by your many messages and the new relationships that are growing within this important community space in Cedar Grove. We still offer presentations online and in-person, as well as walking tours on Wednesdays and workdays every Friday morning.
Bluestem's new parking area and roads are done!
We will be open to the public beginning Sunday, November 20, 2022.
Let's Get the Excavator
We received a challenge from a dedicated Bluestem supporter who will donate $10,000 toward the purchase of an excavator, if we can raise an additional $20,000 by the end of the year. Owning an excavator is a top priority for Bluestem as it allows us to efficiently dig our graves. Currently we are leasing an excavator, which is expensive, and does not give us the flexibility we need. Please join us in this Gratitude Challenge to celebrate Bluestem’s opening and the opportunity to serve our families long into the future. Donate here.
Thank you for supporting Bluestem!
Bluestem Wish List
Hand cart for transport
Ropes, boards, hand tools
Storage containers (x2)
6 seater golf cart
Kubota maintenance vehicle
Fences and gates
A Bluestem Weather Station
TRAIL CONSTRUCTION & SIGNAGE
Design, mapping and equipment
Signage and kiosks
Native grass seed and wildflowers planting
Perennial bulbs, shrubs and trees
Existing plants inventory
HAND & POWER TOOLS
Wheel barrows (x2)
Hand tools, saws, rakes, pruning shears, shovels
Mid Year Update On Our Progress
A canopy of hardwood trees near the pond creates a natural sanctuary where services can be held in all seasons. The sanctuary is cleared and its surface will be smoothed for greater accessibility. A cartway now meanders through the woods and three hiking trails have been established to circumnavigate the pond and pass by the sanctuary. Soon we will introduce light gravel, benches for sitting, and a natural lectern into this space.
2–3-miles of grass pathways and early hiking trails are now under construction throughout the property. We prioritized trails in the natural sanctuary and have begun trail work in the interior woodlands. The entire trail system is designed to appreciate Bluestem's many natural features. Leashed dogs are welcome and please remove your dog waste. No bikers, ATV or horse-riding is allowed. An all-access trail is planned proximate to the welcome area at the front of the property. Bluestem's trails are managed by staff and volunteers.
Signage and Educational Kiosks
Trail signs are being installed around the sanctuary and welcome area. A map and information about Bluestem will be located at the front of the property, informing visitors of the opportunities for recreation, restoration and rest throughout the preserve. Information kiosks also illustrate the founding principles behind Bluestem, the history of the land, identification of the plants and animals that live here, and our conservation practices.
This historic structure from early 1930's will anchor Bluestem’s welcome area, where people can learn about the philosophy behind the conservation cemetery, map out a hiking plan, learn about green burial, hold private services, and participate in volunteer opportunities.
Restoring Fields with Native Grasslands
Last March we planted over 600 pounds of native grasses and wildflowers in approximately 25 acres of Bluestem. These native species -- Little Bluestem, Splitbeard Grass, Coreopsis, Black-eyed Susans, Purple Coneflower, Cosmos and Tridens -- have exploded in color all summer long and are attracting hundreds of pollinators and birds. The native grasses help capture carbon, restore ecological diversity at Bluestem, and provide a restful vista for visiting, weary souls.
Stream and Pond Buffers
Bluestem's pond is a restful spot for one happy heron and countless dragonflies and birds.
We had so much fun with our volunteers at the Eno River Association's annual Eno Festival in July. Over 200 naturalists, environmentalists and green burial believers stopped by Bluestem's booth! We continue to provide Bluestem presentations to church groups, hospice centers and retirement communities. Get in touch if we can bring a presentation to your group.
Other Ways To Help Build Bluestem