Welcome! To the home of Cathedral Trees Sanctuary!


How Can We Help?


Whether you have just lost a loved one, or are looking ahead to the future details of tending to your affairs, or if you are simply interested in the new conservation burial movement, we are here to help.

For those in grief, we know what a difficult and challenging time this can be, and we have numerous ways to assist in your process, in providing a refuge for you and family to take time in a safe and peaceful sanctuary. Feel free to explore our webpage on Natural Grief, Recent Loss, and find our Resource List in the Education section of this website. For someone who has lost a loved one through a recent sudden or traumatic loss, there are many ways you can find the support that is so important to move through at this time. Please accept our sympathies and empathetic understanding, for we ourselves have been through the process of grieving and loss numerous times.

For those who have never heard of conservation or natural burials, check out our whole website, especially the pages for Certification/In the News,  articles on Why Green Burial?,  Why Cremation is NOT green, and What would it take for you to have a Green Burial? Check out the newest and fastest growing wave in 21st century American deathcare and how the Conservation burial movement has become the way of the future.

For those future-minded individuals who are planning ahead for a conservation burial for yourself or your family check out financing options, family and friends discounts, and a new way to invest and support not only your future but also the natural environment. Especially check out our pages on Planning Your Green Burial, 10 Things to Do Before You Die, and also give your comments on our Blog. Check out our articles, videos, and certification status. In these post-pandemic times when the earth urgently needs our care, the choices you make now will have a great impact by avoiding conventional burials and industrial cremation with their pesticide-use, concrete and steel vaults, and cremation pollution (mercury and plastic toxins being the worst found by scientists studying crematory emissions). By joining the 20-year-old Conservation Burial movement you are making a huge difference not only for your health and the health of the environment but also for many generations to come.

For local residents, feel free to Contact Us and arrange for a visit to see our plans for a restoration native Cathedral Tree forest, restoration burial meadow, a Beloved Pet Burial Ground and a Disability Accessible Plot Meadow with access to the Celebration of Life Hall.

A Burial Sanctuary, Restoration Forest and Refuge

“The rippling of living waters, the song of birds, the joyous confidence of flowers, the calm, undisturbable grandeur of the oaks, mark this place of graves as one of the Lord’s most favored abodes of life and light.” –John Muir, 1867, from Camping Among the Tombs

Our mission is to help “naturalize” the burial and funeral industry, to provide and maintain serene and pristine conservation burial sites for those who love nature and wish to “give back” their bodies to nature. We have several longterm projects of native forest and meadow restoration on the acreage. The non-native purple vetch flowers on the land will gradually be replaced by native wildflowers that are compatible with the local soil and animal species.

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A long term project is full-service transport of the deceased to the Sanctuary in a solar electric-operated Tesla hearse or van. A community-funded memorial hall will provide four season visitation, memorials and Celebrations of Life to those visiting or living in the area. The Sanctuary will be open to the public on weekend days for tree planting events, trail hiking, and enjoyment of the developing and renovating projects. Meanwhile, we offer a trained Director who  can assist in helping you document your end of life conservation burial and planned tree donations. Once we receive our state mortuary license and county permits we can begin taking pre-need reservations for burial plots.

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Wildflower meadow plots can be seeded with native scatterings for meadow restoration of the upper hill with views to the Siskiyou mountains (southeroregon.org photo)

The average fee for a conservation burial plot is $3,000 with a basic shroud plot in the meadow for $999 or a Founder’s Tree plot for  $4,999. Your body could  be buried in a linen wrap or an unpreserved wood, willow, wicker or bamboo  or other biodegradable coffin about three feet underground in a dedicated nature preserve. It will decompose over 10 years or so, feeding a tree, native wildflower planting or wild rose bush planted over it. Your body could transform into your very own native tree such as a Douglas Fir or a new “migrating” species, the Giant Sequoia that will live for thousands of years. A study in 2017 found that 64% of Americans in their 40s and older would prefer a natural Burial, with a biodegradable casket and without embalming.  Within just 5 years that number rose from 40% to 64% of those surveyed.

Photos of possible plans for a Celebration of Life Hall to be funded by the Friends and regional community, from Meridian Estate Greenhouses:This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Proposed-Memorial-Hall.gif

    • Willow Pond Lodge Interior Greenhouse
      Possible interior of a four season visitation room in the Celebration of Life Hall
Conventional Green
Burial Cremation Burial
Basic services fee $2,270 $1,195 $995
Transportation and pick up of deceased $550 $550 in city 0
Embalming $495 $695 n/a
Other preparation of the body $575 $225 n/a
Flowers $250 $250 $100 native seeds
Use of facilities for viewing $550 $400 $0
Use of facilities for ceremony $495 $495 $0
Hearse $295 $295 $295
Airport pickup $995 $995 ?
Basic memorial printed package $150 $150 n/a
Metal casket (plus $) $2,395 $2,395 n/a
Vault (plus $) $1,298 n/a
Grave plot plus $) $1,000 incl.
Headstone $1,500 n/a
Opening and closing fee $1,200 incl.
Newspaper Obituary $250 $250 None (on-line)
Biodegradable casket $4,000 $4,000 $495 (plus)
Refrigeration $295 $295 $100
Urn $250 $250 n/a
Meadow Burial (native wildflower seeding) $2,995
Native Legacy Tree Burial $4,995 mature tree
Clergy honorarium
TOTAL COST $16,543 $11,245 $995 (to $4995)
average $8k average $7k average $3k

The John Muir Green Burial Sanctuaries will offer Green Burials – everything but your choice of casket – for between $999 – $4,999, depending on your wishes.

We are skilled in working sensitively and compassionately with those planning their deathcare, as well as those in a sudden or traumatic grief process. Our handling of the deceased is always done with care and dignity, regardless of the cause of death, religion, or belief system.

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Contact Us

Please contact us by email or phone. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our email address:
dianacunningham62 @ gmail.com

Our main office phone number:
Michael Murphy
Dr. Diana Cunningham
(541) 500-7611