"I'm Laina Corazon, secretary-treasurer on the board, and the default webmaster. I got into this because I was visiting with my brother, and he came up with a brilliant idea. It was in the fall of 2002, and not until the middle of winter did we see (in Mother Earth News) anyone else doing it. He suggested, and I concur, that we should get a huge piece of land for a wildlife sanctuary anchored in perpetuity by its use as a graveyard. Of course, to have the burials compatible with land conservation, chemicals are not appropriate. Personally, I have never liked the idea of routinely removing bodily fluids and replacing them with embalming fluid.
"So, we intend to offer low impact burial. The impact on the earth will be minimal since there will be no embalming toxins to deal with, nor impervious casket to delay decomposition, nor vault to hoard air and give a chance for methane gas to build... The impact on the budget will be minimal since after the initial price, there might be no further payment for full utilization of the burial right. In other words, if the family and friends dig the grave, there is no need to pay anyone to do it. If all you want is a shroud, and have a sheet for the purpose, why spend anything? If you wish a coffin, homemade may be adequate, and we might provide a list of woodworkers to those who would rather pay someone to craft it-- if any woodworkers make themselves and their handiwork known to us.
"We want to initiate land conservation and provide a good, inexpensive burial alternative to the corporate hard sell funeral industry. For the last few years, I have researched Colorado law, the IRS requirements, and lots of other stuff. This project is ready to launch, and you are all welcome to participate. We encourage inquiries from everyone, especially if you want to pitch in and help with the launching."
Mr. Ledbetter's professional career includes comprehensive experience in the fields of landscape facilities planning, design, construction and management. His wealth of professional insight and understanding, with special emphasis in the identification, thematic design use and care of a broad range of native plants, will aid in the development of distinctive landscapes throughout the growth of our project. He is particularly well versed in issues of sustainable landscape design, including hardscape development, planting design and construction management.
Examples of Mr. Ledbetter's work may be seen at Sunset Memorial Park, Albuquerque, NM, Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, CA, Kingwood Memorial Park, Lewis Center, OH, and Rocky Mountain Memorial Park & Cremation Garden, Denver, CO, to name a few.
Beyond his educational and professional credentials, Mr. Ledbetter is exceptionally qualified for his place on the PWC Board by his love of the prairie. Having been raised on the prairie, he welcomed the opportunity to be part of the Prairie Wilderness Cemeteries organization.
I have been with Prairie Wilderness Cemeteries ever since reading Grave Matters by Mark Harris. I had to take action and PWC was listed in the index. Green burial is an idea that merges care for the environment and resistance to unnecessary (and costly) conventional funeral practices. I enjoy working with the Board and volunteers as we get ever closer to a viable green cemetery and in the future a conservation cemetery.
I have a Master's degree in Public Administration, over a decade of experience of working for non profit associations, and I can't stop talking about green burial!!! I am pleased to have found a group that appreciates these traits....