A Way for Nature to Rest in Peace

By BY XANDER PETERS – National Geographic Magazine

In 1825, as farmland evolved into industrial acreage, conservationist George Brimmer bought land in Massachusetts to preserve its valleys and wetlands from development. Brimmer later partnered with others to turn the land into a cemetery, effectively skirting developers’ wandering eyes.

The result was Mount Auburn Cemetery, which borders Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts. Today it still resembles the land Brimmer sought to preserve, albeit with a fleet of gravestones poking out of the green turf. “I like to think of Mount Auburn Cemetery as not just the first rural cemetery, but in fact, it was a form of land conservation,” says Candace Currie, director of Green Burial Massachusetts, a nonprofit group working to create the state’s first legally recognized conservation cemetery. “To this day, people go there to get away from the city.”

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A Way for Nature to Rest in Peace
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