Efforts to establish a natural burial cemetery in the Methow began in 2007, with a plan to create a natural burial area within one of the Valley’s existing cemeteries. However, 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 biodegradable casket and placed directly into the ground, without the use of embalming fluids or a concrete or plastic vault.
At the time, it appeared that the only way to achieve the goal of natural burial in the Methow would be by creating a new cemetery–an expensive proposition! 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.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our priorities have shifted to education and promotion of natural burial, but we continue to explore avenues for bringing the practice of natural burial to this beautiful place.
Read more about our mission here.