The Circle of Life Memorial Gardens and Sustainability Center (COL) became an incorporated nonprofit organization in the state of Maine in November 2020. Currently, we are working toward obtaining our 501c3 status through the federal government. The collective expertise of our Board of Directors includes bereavement facilitation, social work, environmental sustainability, gardening, writing, horticultural work, customer service and more. Our organization is an authentic model of sustainability by combining the (re)emerging desire for natural burials with conservation education.
A Letter from Our Founder
A critical component to the survival of our planet is to protect the natural circle of life — growth and decay; birth and rebirth. This mission serves as the inspiration behind the Memorial Gardens and Sustainability Center.
The idea for the Circle of Life Memorial Gardens came to life while walking my dogs around a traditional cemetery. Rows of tombstones, very little trees and shrubs, and plastic flowers made me feel like this kind of resting place wasn’t for me. I wanted my body to return to the earth in the most natural way possible and have my body’s nutrients used to grow new life. I wouldn’t be using my body anymore, so why not offer it to organisms that could transform into something beautiful once I’m gone?
It wasn’t long after that walk that the seed of a dream was planted and the roots of a vision soon began to grow. This vision included a cemetery whose purpose was to create and sustain new life in the form of botanical gardens that would radiate a calm, welcoming energy for those who were laying a loved one to rest, or for those who wished to spend time in the outdoors surrounded by nature. A vision for a cemetery that would allow for minimal disruption of the planet and its natural settings, allowing those who inhabit it to offer their vessels as a last and final payback for living a life on it.
It is my hope that through the Circle of Life Memorial Gardens and Sustainability Center that those who are interested in learning how to tread more lightly on our planet will have the chance to do so through educational programs. I firmly believe that green burials can have a positive impact on our community, not only on the environment in which we live, but also on the family and friends we leave behind after our death. It is my hope that having a beautiful and serene setting to remember loved ones will bring peace and healing to our loved ones once we move on from this life.