President – Dr. LaShelle Easton
Secretary – Susie Kowalczyk
Treasurer – Stacey Mathews
Our core group of volunteers meets monthly, and we would love to have you join us. Learn more here.
Establishing a natural burial ground in the Methow Valley has been a long road. It began in 2007 with an effort to create a natural burial area within one of the Valley’s existing cemeteries, but both the Beaver Creek Cemetery in Twisp and the Sullivan Cemetery in Winthrop have adopted regulations preventing the practice of natural burial on their grounds.
With natural burial, the dead are wrapped in a shroud or natural casket and placed directly into the ground, without the use of embalming fluids or a concrete vault.
In order to create a natural burial site, a new cemetery would need to be established. Washington state law requires that the dead be buried in a certified burial ground, with certification costs in the neighborhood of $25,000—in addition to the cost of the land itself. The movement lost steam for some time.
Recently, the movement was revived after Dave and Marilyn Sabold had the experience of caring for a friend, Ken White, after his death. Ken had specifically requested not to be embalmed, and the Sabolds soon discovered that simply burying a body was a much more difficult task than it needed to be. They also discovered that the ritual of caring for a loved one after death provided a healing and profound gift.
Other valley residents soon took up the cause, and Cascades Natural Burial was born. Read more about our mission here.