Sunday, July 6, 2014

Colma open space, productive idea for GGNRA property

San Mateo County Times, John Horgan, 7/2/14.  "John Horgan:  Colma graveyards could be considered local 'open space'."

Ah, after dark local "open space" of Colma
....  "Think about it. Cemeteries, for the most part, are undeveloped property. Sure, there is a significant population underground. But, up top, graveyards tend to be quiet places well-suited for reflection and contemplation most of the time.  Colma is a prime case in point. That North County village, which has about 1,800 living residents, is home to an estimated 1.8 million deceased individuals.

....  Think "Harold and Maude," the 1971 cult classic in which the odd, age-challenged couple has a filmed picnic in one of the leafy Colma cemeteries, with the two main characters as the only participants in the dining experience.  ....  Incidentally, that film had scenes shot in locations throughout the Peninsula, including Redwood City, Hillsborough, Brisbane, the Dumbarton Bridge and the Coastside, among other places. Even more than 40 years later, the quirky movie still holds up."   Read more.

Related update (better use of unproductive "open space") -  Memorial Ecosystems, the leaders in conservation burial. Ramsey Creek Preserve, Ramsey Creek town near Westminster, South Carolina.  "The Ramsey Creek Preserve is the first conservation burial ground in the United States, and arguably, the world. The original 33 acre site opened in 1998 and protected a quarter mile of Ramsey Creek."

AARP Bulletin: Green graveyards - a natural way to go, 1/17/09. "In lovely woods just outside the tiny town of Westminster, S.C., discreetly scattered among the tall pines and poplars, are 20 graves, many hand-dug by Billy Campbell. The graves, mounds of earth dotted with wildflowers and bathed in dappled sunlight, are marked with flat stones engraved with the names of the dead—from a rock-ribbed Southern Baptist to a gentle New Age hippie. Campbell, the town's only doctor, is an ardent environmentalist. He buries patients, friends and strangers—without embalming them—in biodegradable caskets, or in no caskets at all, in the nature preserve he created along Ramsey Creek. The burials are legal and meet all state regulations and health requirements. But in the beginning, many in this conservative town of 2,700 people were skeptical, even angry, about the Ramsey Creek Preserve, where the dead protect the land of the living. .... "The mortuary-cemetery business is a $20-billion-a-year industry, and if we could get just 10 percent of that," Campbell says, "we'd have $2 billion a year going toward land conservation on memorial preserves where people could picnic, hike or take nature classes."  Note:  this related AARP Bulletin article was emailed to me in response to the Colma "open space" opinion article.  I was unable to link the exact AARP location

Note: photograph from Atlas Obscura,  "Society adventures:  all soul's day after dark at Colma's Woodlawn cemetary, 11/14/13."   

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Kathy Meeh said...

Article update: related biodegradable, conservation burials. (Email received from "Mortimer the Mortician.)

Anonymous said...

Conservation Burial? Cash-strapped Feds ok burials on Mori's Point, Sweeney Ridge, Milagra. Maybe they can film zombie movies here, the walking dead.

Anonymous said...

The Colma graveyard should be beautified. Some nice flowering bougainvillea on the fence would ensure the privacy and peace for the resting.

It could also use some nice landscaping. Green grass lawn is ok. But more color would help.