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The Roundtable

Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery - Green Burials

Even in death, in is possible to reduce your carbon footprint. Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Niskayuna, operated by Albany Diocesan Cemeteries, has set aside 20,000 square feet of undeveloped space for 260 natural graves, becoming the first Catholic cemetery in New York State to offer "green" burial space.

The cemetery joins about 70 others in the U.S. taking advantage of this rapidly-growing trend (aside from Jewish or Muslim cemeteries, where burial practices often coincide with green burial rules).

The Niskayuna space abuts a nature preserve. Groundskeepers will mow the area only once a year, so the wildflower seeds planted there will spread. Skipping pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers will promote the growth of shrubs and flowers and attract birds, bees, butterflies and more.

Maureen McGuinness is family services manager at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery.