If you’re not near Austin, TX, or if you’re not obsessed with funerals and deathcare, you might not realize that we have one amazing natural deathcare resource right close to Austin, open and available to all.
Eloise Woods, a natural and green burial park, is east of Austin, out toward Bastrop. It’s owned and developed by Ellen MacDonald, and is currently accepting both bodies and ashes, of pets and humans.
The beauty of Eloise Woods is in its simplicity. Ellen keeps it raw and wild, not manicured, so nature is the focus. The grounds and the processes are simple, by design. Families are able to prepare their own spaces and celebrate their own way, including digging the grave themselves (a surprisingly therapeutic community-building activity most times, from what we hear). The only rules in place are to ensure that the grounds be kept natural and green–no unnatural markers or non-biodegradable items, so polyester clothing, traditional caskets, and ornate headstones are neither expected nor usable at Eloise Woods.
Witness this simple video from a natural burial at Eloise Woods, using a shroud.
Video courtesy The Modern Mortician
Infant burial and above-ground scattering of any cremated remains are free at Eloise Woods. Fees for other burial at Eloise Woods can be found here , including options for having the gravesite done for you (if digging a grave in the heat or cold isn’t in you at the moment).
Many who are buried at Eloise Woods are prepared and cared for at home, in keeping with the simplicity motif. But if a home funeral isn’t your style, there are many Eloise-Woods-friendly funeral directors in and around Austin as well–if you need a referral, email me!