Natural Burial Preserve

A return to a simpler, more natural manner of laying our loved ones to rest while preserving the beauty and natural integrity of their final resting place.


Honoring the Natural Cycles of Life, Death and Renewal

In 2007 Narrow Ridge set aside five acres of land for a “green cemetery” as a means of honoring the natural life cycle of birth, death and renewal. In April 2012, years of research and planning were rewarded with a letter from the state of Tennessee recognizing Narrow Ridge as owner/ operator of a community cemetery. The Narrow Ridge Natural Burial Preserve is the first contemporary “green cemetery” in the state of Tennessee.

The Narrow Ridge Natural Burial Preserve differs from conventional cemeteries in that it is expressly intended to be free of embalming fluids, concrete vaults, non-biodegradable caskets and chemical fertilizers. Grave markings of native plants and modestly sized, flat markers of stone native to the area are permitted. In time the site will return to a natural forest with trails that provide access to grave sites.

Benefits of Natural Burial

  •   A way of honoring the natural rhythms of the life cycle
  •   A way of connecting with our most distant ancestors who would have buried their loved ones in a similar manner
  •   A way of reducing the extraction of metals and other materials involved in conventional burial
  •   A way of reducing the use of toxic chemicals found in embalming fluids and lawn fertilizers
  •   A simpler and more affordable manner of honoring the life and death of a loved one



What the Natural Burial Preserve Provides

The Narrow Ridge Natural Burial Preserve offers a final resting place for individuals who value simplicity, natural preservation, and the wild beauty of a southeastern forest. The Natural Burial Preserve is not a funeral home and does not offer the services of a funeral director to prepare a body for viewing or for burial, to transport the deceased to the burial preserve, or to coordinate funeral services.

Our timber frame pavilion located within the preserve provides a lovely sheltered space for memorial services, peaceful reflection, or gatherings in honor of deceased loved ones.

While Narrow Ridge appreciates that there are many meaningful ways to honor both life and death, the Natural Burial Preserve was established to provide an alternative to conventional burial in which nature is allowed to take its course. The Natural Burial Preserve is not intended as a place for burying or scattering cremains.

Cost of Burial at Narrow Ridge Natural Burial Preserve

Because Narrow Ridge feels strongly that the death of a loved one should not result in debt or financial hardship for family members, there is no charge for a cemetery plot within the burial preserve. However, Narrow Ridge certainly welcomes donations in appreciation of the Natural Burial Preserve and toward Narrow Ridge’s efforts in preserving rural land and promoting Earth literacy and sustainable living.

Those who choose to use the burial preserve are responsible for the cost of opening and closing the grave; although it is perfectly acceptable for friends and family to open and close the grave by hand.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about reserving a site in the Natural Burial Preserve.