View this email in your browser
In This Issue:

>Memorial Tree Planting
>Goats Clean  Cemetery
>Pete on iHeart Radio
>Returning Home Farm
>Meet the Goats
>Natural Burial in Canada
>Blacksmithing at Penn Forest
>Graveside Service 
>Death Cafe on Nov. 2
>Did You Know?
>Social Media Links
>Green Burial Questions
Goats take over historic Congressional Cemetery
Instead of herbicides, 30 goats spend about two weeks grazing on invasive species at the final resting place of more than 68,000 notable residents.or this purpose.

Dear <<First Name>>,

We started out to establish a green cemetery in Pittsburgh so we and other Pittsburghers would have this option locally instead of needing to travel to green cemeteries hours away in other states. We’ve expanded our mission to become a model for sustainable living too by adding hiking trails, bees, forest restoration, meadow restoration, and both educational and community-building events.
Soon we will be getting goats for clearing brush instead of using gas-powered equipment or herbicides. Additional plans include gardens and local food production and aquaculture. Our new Returning Home Farm site will also include chickens for eggs and an education shed where we can offer sustainable living classes, starting with blacksmithing.
You may be asking, “What does Returning Home Farm have to do with running a natural burial park?” We now have thirty-five acres of land, and we only use a little over two acres for burial, so we want to make the rest of the land available for community enjoyment and learning. In other words, we want Penn Forest to be a place for the dead and a place for the living. I hope this idea resonates with you as it does with us. Please enjoy this issue of ‘Life at Penn Forest’ and send us your ideas for other things we might do to encourage sustainable living, and dying, here and elsewhere.               


Save the Date - Memorial Tree Planting Rescheduled for 
November 7th, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin effects dumped so much rain on us that we were forced to reschedule this event until 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Saturday, November 7th.

If you’d like to come and help with our reforestation efforts by planting a tree or shrub at Penn Forest in honor or memory of a loved one, please buy a tree and meet us to plant your tree. And you don’t need to buy a tree to help us with planting. Bring work gloves and a shovel if you have them and dress for the weather.

Email us at to get the tree order form. By the way, we’ll be planting shrubs too on November 7th, so, if that’s of interest to you, be sure to ask for the revised order form that includes native shrubs.

Kathy Raborn, Penn Forest’s Tree-Planter in Chief, will be on hand to help us do it right

Goats Clean Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC

If you’ve been getting the Life at Penn Forest newsletter for a while, you know we’ll soon be getting goats to clear brush on our property. (See “Returning Home Farm” below.) However, we aren’t the only cemetery using goats for this purpose. Take a look at this video about how the Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC is using goats to clean up their property
Goats take over historic Congressional Cemetery

Pete McQuillin on iHeart Radio

Pete was interviewed by Sean McDowell of iHeart Radio last week about green burial and Penn Forest.  This 25-minute interview will air at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 25th on 3WS (94.5) 3WS (94.5), WDVE (102.5), KISS (96.1), Big Country (104.7) and the X (105.9). Please tell all your friends and family to tune in to get a quick overview of what we do here.

Returning Home Farm

Progress at the Farm has been faster than expected. To the right and below are many of the photos of this work in process.  

The Amish barn-building crew will be coming out in a few weeks to finish the barn.   
To make room for a barn, a coop, an education shed, paddocks and a pond, a one-acre site in back of the Penn Forest office was cleared of an unhealthy jumble of trees that were slowly being strangled by huge grape and poison ivy vines.

If you’d like to visit us and watch the construction, let us know and we’ll send you an email with exact construction dates.  


Returning Home Farm land before clearing.

Here, making a design plan, are Sara Madden (design manager) and Paul Yanulavich (horticulturist), from Stormworks (part of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association)

The two people who have done most of the heavy lifting for the office and farm: Ron Regan (left) and Dave Hoffman. We are totally indebted to them.
Barn shell - looking east.
Barn shell - looking northeast.
Posts for the chicken coop – Kaeryn Silvera and Jeff Jaeger are building the coop.
Future coop residents.
Pete supervising the barn-building (more honestly, Pete in awe of the barn-building process).
Farmers Nancy and Pete modeling their new work duds.

Meet the First Three Goats

These three will be our first goats as soon as the Returning Home Farm barn and fence are complete in early November.

If you’d like to visit us and watch the construction, let us know and we’ll send you an email with exact construction dates.  



No Name -  (suggestions welcomed)

Tourmaline (owned by Mary Pat Acquaviva).
News Flash: The first green cemetery opens in Canada. Click here or on the image above to see the full video.

Blacksmithing at Penn Forest

Blacksmithing is an ancient art that’s environmentally friendly. It allows the smith to create new 
tools, artworks, machine or architectural parts and other metal objects of utility and beauty from found scraps of metal. It uses only a small amount of energy to heat the metal, so the smith can hammer it to a new purpose. Our sixteen-year-old blacksmith friend, Ben Barron, has been smithing for two years, and he plans to offer demonstrations and classes in our new education shed at Returning Home Farm. 

Why It Can Be Good to Have an Officiant at a Graveside Service

We recently had a beautiful graveside service at Penn Forest. The family matriarch had died at 93 after a wonderful life. An outside officiant conducted the service. She was an ordained Methodist minister, but she was skilled and open and able to let all the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other friends and family members give voice to their love for this woman and tell stories from their lives with her in their own religious traditions or in no traditions as they wished. Because she was in charge, everyone in the family was able to freely participate and express their feelings without having to worry about the process.
At Penn Forest we honor whatever choice for a graveside service the family wants, from no service, to something simple, to a formal religious service. Just let us know what you’d like, and we’ll do our best to assist you in making it happen.

Death Cafe - November 2nd

In case you're interested and live near Penn Hills, you might want to attend this valuable event. At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group, not a grief support or counselling session.  - See more HERE and sign up.


Did You Know?

You signed up for this newsletter because you are interested in green burial at Penn Forest, so I'm sure you know that we don't allow embalming with toxic chemicals, we bury people in biodegradable coffins or shrouds and we don't use burial vaults. But did you know..

You can have a viewing and visitation at a funeral home before a green burial. Or if you don't want to use a funeral home at all, we can arrange that too. By chilling the body, green burial can occur up to 10 days after death. You can be an organ donor and still have a green burial. You can be cremated and have your ashes interred at Penn Forest in a biodegradable container.

The choice is yours. Contact Penn Forest for more information and other options to help you make the best choices for you and your family.
Visit our Website

You've got questions...we've got answers!

Check out our Green Burial Frequently Asked Questions.
et answers to questions about Penn Forest here>>>

Do you have a question that was not answered in the FAQ's? Email us and we will be happy to answer it for you.

Penn Forest Natural Burial Park is Pennsylvania’s first exclusively green burial ground and is committed to creating a beautiful burial park where nature is at the forefront. Penn Forest is located 13 miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh on 35 acres in Penn Hills (close to Oakmont and Verona). The burial ground is bordered by Plum Creek and is just a mile upstream from the Allegheny River.
Visit our website for more information.

Copyright © 2015 Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp