Policy, Practice & Procedures

Natural burial is beautiful, and once you know how it works, fairly simple. You’ll find planty of details on this page, to help you visualize what your own green burial will entail. White Eagle Memorial Preserve (“White Eagle”) is in alignment with the guidelines for conservation burial grounds established by the Green Burial Council, a nationally recognized independent, tax-exempt, nonprofit organization representing over 300 approved providers. Printable PDF of Policy, Practice and Procedures

Price List:

$2500 baseline cost for each 20×20 site commitment. We encourage folks to pre-plan, to buy sites ahead of time and to make sure your family and caregivers have copies of the “Deed for Interment Rights” which you receive with your purchase.

+$250 Endowment Care Fund – ensures ongoing land care as governed by State of Washington.

+$600 Opening/Closing fee, payable at time of burial.

Total Cost: $3350

  • We require a $500 deposit to confirm your site commitment, and can work with quarterly or monthly payment schedules, at no interest, for up to 3 years.
  • While we are happy to accept credit/debit cards for your convenience, we charge a 2% fee to cover the costs of card payment processing.

~~What is included in Open&Close?
We currently charge a $600 open & close fee for the actual burial. This includes digging the grave (usually done by hand), grave preparation (the bottom of the grave is beautifully prepared using native plant and flower material found locally during the season), burial service, reception space and hosting. If you pay for Open&Close in advance, we hold those monies in a trust until the time of burial. We reserve the right to adjust the Open&Close fee in the future, but advance payment secures your burial at current rates.

Details about Burial Day:

We are able to host, facilitate, and act as celebrant for the burial service, if need be. Sometimes families choose a spiritual leader, or a member of the family circle to lead the service, sometimes the service is improvised at the family’s discretion, sometimes we collaborate with family members to craft and lead a meaningful service. Each burial here is very unique. Jodie will work with you in advance to structure the timeline and components of the burial, and then we have the experience together.

Our groundskeeper Bob coordinates with the funeral home, or the families directly, to prepare a place and receive the loved one’s body, and then works with family and friends to convey the body into the ground. We use a wheeled cart, pushed by people, through the woods to a place near the grave, and then he shows the pallbearers how to lower the body into the grave. If your family is not comfortable participating in the closing of the grave, we can do it, but we encourage people to engage with the actual work of burying a loved one. We have a few children’s shovels on hand, as we’ve found that kids often really want to participate; they feel more at peace about saying goodbye when they join in. Much of our work is to be witness and provide safe space for you to bury your dead in the way that only you who know and love them are able to do.

We are able to host small burial gatherings in a 600 square foot cabin located in the Ekone Ranch valley (approximately ¾ mile from the cemetery). We have placeware for 20, and offer coffee and tea service. Families may bring their own potluck for a reception either before or after the burial. The cabin itself is fairly rustic, with a covered area next to the woodshed, which is suitable for buffet style meals. Guests can store perishables in the fridge, and often bring coolers for beverages.

We do our best to support you at every step in this experience, to feel your way through this meaningful work of burying a loved one.

Potential Discounts

-$100 if paying in full up front for site commitment

-10% off 2nd site if purchasing two sites

or

-10% off site commitments made during designated special events at White Eagle

Cremated Remains

$800 for burial in designated 10×10 cemetery site.

There is no additional open/close fee for cremains burials.

“Family” Plot

We are able accept one natural burial and up to three cremations in a 20×20 site; however, Washington law states we must accept the burial first. Cost breakdown:

$2500 for site

+$250 burial Endowment Care Fund

+$800 for each cremains interment

+$80 for each cremains Endowment Care Fund

Animals

Animals cannot be buried within Washington State cemeteries.

We have designated the area along the outside perimeter of White Eagle as a place to bury pets. People may choose to purchase a site along the edge of the cemetery and be buried close to their beloved animals.

$100 – animals under 20 lbs.

$250 – animals between 20-40 lbs.

$350 – animals between 40-60 lbs.

$450 and Up – animals 60+ lbs., at White Eagle’s discretion

Memorials at White Eagle

$190 and Up – Dependent on desired custom work.

*Check White Eagle guidelines if working with a stone cutter of your choosing.
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WHITE EAGLE MEMORIAL PRESERVE at Ekone Ranch
Sacred Earth Foundation 401 Ekone Road Goldendale, Washington 98620
Cemetery Office Phone: 206-383-3285 whiteeagle@ekone.org

Natural Burial

  1. No embalming.
  2. Caskets, if desired, shall be biodegradable, made of locally harvested wood or cardboard.
  3. Shrouds made of biodegradable material can be used. This includes cotton, wool, silk, hemp, and untreated leather.
  4. No concrete vaults or grave liners of any kind.
  5. Native species that have to be removed for interment shall be replanted and nourished. Families may assist in grave plantings which must be native seed or plant stock appropriate for the location as determined by White Eagle. Families will not prune, “weed” or otherwise harm native plants on or near the gravesite. No artificial flowers, vases, statues, or other manufactured decorations are allowed. Any “grace adornments” must be biodegradable and made of ALL natural materials.
  6. Families may not create a trail to the grave site or disturb surrounding landscape in anyway. In the case of large tree blow-down, staff should be notified. Picking wildflowers is prohibited.

Monuments

  1. Because of our specialized grid and location system, stone markers are not required. If desired however, stone memorials may be used and must be of native stone and consistent with the geology of the site. We can provide an appropriate stone on request. Stones brought from the outside must be approved prior to placement and must be no bigger than any stone within 50 feet of the grave.
  2. In general, stones should be flat to the ground. Carvings or artwork other than names and dates must be approved by White Eagle. Families may not gather rocks from other areas of the preserve. No construction of stone piles please. In some cases, to create a more natural look, more than one stone can be used to create a monument, but such a marker must be pre-approved.

Burial Sites

  1. Burial sites are 20×20 feet in size. These 400 square foot sites allow us plenty of room to determine the correct placement of the grave between existing landscape features. We will do our best to accommodate your specific wishes, yet grave placement within each deeded site is determined at the discretion of White Eagle.
  2. The 20 acres of White Eagle uses a surveyed grid system with markers along A-G and 1-11 lines, forming a network of “regions,” containing up to 36 sites. Each region has also been given the name of a plant or animal species.
  3. Site location records are maintained via hard copy files and electronic backup. Your deed will reflect your site location according to our grid system (example: A-5, Gray Fox, Site #14).
  4. In order to schedule a burial at White Eagle, you must purchase a site for the deceased or contact us regarding an existing deed, and pay the Open/Close fee. Please provide us with the following information before the time of the burial:
    – Death Certificate (which includes name of deceased, date of death, date of birth)
    – Transit Permit (from County Health Department)
    – Designated Agent for deceased
    – Time and Date of Interment
    – Funeral Establishment (if any)
    – Names of Parents or Guardians if deceased is not an adult.
  5. Only one person may be buried in each gravesite. We are able to accept up to three cremated remains within each burial site, once a burial has occurred. Please see our price list for more information. Individuals wishing to be buried close to one another may purchase adjoining sites
  6. Your Deed reflects your Right to Interment – you may transfer your site to another person. If you purchase a site for yourself but, upon death, are buried elsewhere, then your site passes to your descendants or those named in your will.
  7. Trails or temporary access lanes may traverse a corner of a burial site; they will never traverse an actual grave.
  8. In this relatively dry region, graves may take many years to settle back to the original ground level and sometimes settle unevenly. All graves will be monitored over time for the best ecological “fit” for native plants and the local environment.
  9. White Eagle Memorial Preserve can assume no liability for damage caused by acts beyond its control.

Cremated Remains

We are able to inter (bury) cremated remains in designated 10×10 sites. Our pricing for cremation burial includes the open/close fee. Please refer to our Price List for current pricing information.

Burial Service

Burial service must be completed by 4pm to allow sufficient time to properly close the grave and remove equipment. Families may help close the grave if they wish. We will supply shovels and rakes.

  1. All funerals and vehicles will be under the supervision of White Eagle.
  2. No public assemblage without written consent of White Eagle.
  3. No more than eight vehicles will be allowed out to White Eagle for a funeral service, as the land is a very sensitive and wild area. We encourage walking and/or carpooling from the parking area at Ekone Ranch and can help support you with logistics.
  4. Discharging of firearms during any ceremony is not allowed.
  5. White Eagle is at 2500 feet elevation. The cemetery is closed during times in winter when access is not possible due to heavy snow or mud. In regions where frozen ground and snow create serious access issues, it is a common practice to hold a body in refrigeration until weather and conditions allow. Columbia Hills Funeral home in nearby Goldendale is available for this purpose. We are glad to give you their contact information.

Visitation

Due to the wild and sensitive nature of this land, we request that you call in advance to make arrangements for a guided tour or a visit to White Eagle (509-773-4536). Upon arrival, all visitors must first check-in at Ekone Ranch Lodge for an escort to the Cemetery. To those whose loved ones are buried here, we are officially open for visitation on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month, from 10am until 4pm, plus Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, All Soul’s Day and the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We will do our best to honor other requests by appointment. Visitors shall be respectful of all gravesites while walking around White Eagle and must stay on trails when walking in the surrounding region. Pets must be kept leashed and controlled at all times.

Costs

  1. Sites. Please see our current Price List for information about White Eagle site costs for burial, cremation interment, and current Endowment Care Fund and Open /Close Fees.
  2. Endowment Care Fund. Washington State law requires White Eagle to collect 10% of the current price of a cemetery site at the time of purchase for the Endowment Care Fund. This fund insures the long-term care, protection and maintenance of White Eagle into the future.
  3. Opening and Closing Fees. This fee is not due until the burial is scheduled and covers the cost of gravesite preparation and burial hosting.

Direct Burial vs. Family Burial

  1. Direct Burial – the deceased is brought to White Eagle with no family members present. White Eagle provides all the needed services and takes care to honor the deceased during the interment.
  2. Family Burial – We welcome family burials where at least two family members come to the interment, help carry the deceased to the gravesite, complete their ceremony and honor the life of the loved one as they commit the body’s return to the earth.
  3. Remains may be delivered to nearby Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel in Goldendale prior to the burial. The receiving fee includes sheltering the remains in refrigeration as long as necessary, and the delivery of the remains to White Eagle. Other services are available as needed. We are glad to provide you with additional contact information. (http://www.gardnerfh.com/)

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