Welcome to Bluestem Conservation Cemetery
Opening Summer 2022
A conservation cemetery designed as a place of reverence in a nature preserve, with a trail network, quiet areas for reflection, open space for contemplation, and designated areas within its restored landscape for natural burial.
Imagine your favorite walking path—in a Piedmont landscape, fields of native grasslands rolling in front of you, the sky above you, open and wide. A path draws you into the woodlands, past ferns and shrubs, into a quiet glade with a nearby pond. Birdsong and crickets add notes to the quiet, butterflies and dragonflies color the air. The trees welcome you with reverence, and the seasons offer you their timely gifts. The clean scent of the earth reminds you: you are home.
Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond." —Robin Wall Kimmerer
What's Happening at Bluestem
Bluestem. Where nature is enough.
Read About Conservation Burial in the
April 2022 Edition of National Geographic Magazine
It's a matter of stripping away the unnecessary. Of getting back to basics. With conservation cemeteries, "we're trying to help people come back to the concept that nature is enough," says Heidi Hannapel, a consultant with the preservation group Landmatters and a co-founder of Bluestem Conservation Cemetery.
At the same time, the cemeteries are a modern—even entrepreneurial—approach to land preservation, says Bluestem's other co-founder, Jeff Masten. "It's a different land use, it's a different tool. it's a different strategy," says Masten, also a Landmatters consultant. "Conservation burial grounds, for some people, are like a business that helps land stay in use."
If you are a National Geographic subscriber, you can access the full article online, or you can find the April edition at your local library or purchase a copy online.