Scattering ashes after a cremation service brings many people peace. It also allows you to select a location beloved by your loved one as their final resting place. There are regulations and laws in place that limit where you can spread ashes. If you’re looking into your options, here are a few ideas for where to scatter the remains and what you’ll have to do to get permission.
Where to Spread Ashes After a Cremation Service
1. The Ocean
Distributing ashes in the ocean is allowed, but there are a few regulations you’ll need to follow. The ashes must be scattered at least three nautical miles away from the shore. If you’re planning to drop the urn in, make sure you use a biodegradable one, as anything that you place in the water must be able to decompose. You don’t need a permit to spread ashes at sea, but you’ll need to report it to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within 30 days. Rivers, ponds, and lakes do not have the same regulations as oceans, so make sure to contact the municipality where the body of water is located to avoid illegal actions.
2. National Park
Most national parks across the U.S. allow people to scatter the ashes of their loved one. Before you head to one, however, there are a few rules to follow. First, you need a permit and must ask for permission from the chief park ranger. You’ll also need to move away from any trails or developed areas where people walk frequently. Some spaces could be off-limits. Discuss the best places in the park to scatter ashes with the chief park ranger. They’ll have a few options and can map out where to find them.
3. Public Land
Depending on the state, you can spread ashes in uninhabited areas of public land. Forests are good options. However, similar to national parks, make sure you’re away from any trails or places where people visit often. It’s important to note that amusement parks and sports stadiums aren’t public property, and they may not allow any ashes to be distributed there.
4. A Graveyard
First, find out whether the cemetery is private or public property. For private properties, you must ask permission. For public areas, contact the town that manages the property to see if there are any rules that don’t allow scattering ashes. There are some graveyards that have a specific area designated for spreading ashes after a cremation service, but often for a fee.
For assistance with planning a cremation service, contact Thomas Funeral Chapels in Rochester, NY. With 88 years of experience arranging funerals, their compassionate team will help you customize the service to meet your wishes. They have a vast urn selection with many keepsake options to help you celebrate your loved one’s life. Learn more about their services online or call (585) 663-3837 to speak to a funeral director.