The Dirt on Soil

Green Burial Massachusetts was delighted to host three knowledgeable panelists on a zoom conference call, now available to view on YouTube.

Nate Horwitz-Willis, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Coordinator of Public Health Practice, MA College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Al Averill, Soils Scientist, retired soil scientist USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service

Carlos Gonzalez, Operations Manager, Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, Florida

In our search for land, we thought we should tell you about soils. We are looking for specific criteria for the ideal conservation cemetery: road access, beauty, wildlife habitat. However, we must have the right soils for human burial. This aspect alone is critical. The right soils are not easy to come by in the Valley. Over the past year, our team has created a system for identifying and evaluating these soils. Al Averill will provide information on the soil composition and the soils of the Connecticut River Valley. Carlos Gonzales will speak about the importance of understanding soils as the operations manager of a conservation cemetery and the power of bringing a community together to hand dig graves. And Nate Horwitz-Willis, our first speaker, will provide insight on soils from a public health perspective and speak to the myths that many people still have about natural burial.

We thank our partners Kestrel Land Trust and Landmatters for cheering us on and moving this project forward every week, and Mary Ann Cofrin for asking “What If” all along the way.

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The Dirt on Soil
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