Rules & Regulations

Mission Statement

Green Meadow at Fountain Hill Cemetery is a quarter-acre natural burial ground where remains are returned to the earth as simply and directly as possible. Our goal is to allow the body to degrade naturally and rejoin the elements, and, in the process, perpetuate the natural cycle of life and death, of dissolution and rebirth. At the Green Meadow, we’re using what remains of a life to regenerate new life, to return dust to dust.

To that end, we prohibit practices and structures that prevent the body’s natural decay and reunion with the elements, including burial vaults, metal caskets and chemical embalming. In their place, we allow biodegradable caskets and cloth shrouds. We do not permit upright headstones to mark the graves but welcome fieldstone or other natural rock native to the region.

Burial lots

We practice sequential burial.

  • Families purchase the right to be buried at Green Meadow, not the burial plot itself. Bodies are buried in surveyed plots, one after the other, in the order in which burials take place. The same holds true for remains whose burial rights were purchased pre-need.
  • Families may purchase lots adjoining the deceased prior to or at the time of the deceased’s burial, but not afterward.
  • Statues, statuettes, benches, chairs and other similar items may not be installed on grave sites.
Burial of remains
  • Embalmed bodies may not be buried in Green Meadow. This includes bodies embalmed with “green” embalming solutions.
    • Funeral directors must verify that the deceased has not been embalmed.
  • Bodies may be buried with only biodegradable memorabilia. Thus no watches, eyeglasses, bottles, etc, are allowed.
  • Cremated remains
    • Cremated remains may be buried with or without containers.
    • Scattering is permitted only in reserved sections of Green Meadow.
  • Families may participate in the closing of the grave but not the opening.
Burial Containers and Caskets
  • Burial containers, such as vaults and grave liners, are not permitted.
  • Caskets
    • Bodies or cremated remains may be buried in caskets made only from natural, biodegradable materials, such as wood, cardboard, grasses, bamboo and wicker.
    • Caskets may not be made from treated wood and may not contain metal hardware.
    • Caskets must be strong enough to support the weight of an adult human body.
  • Shrouds
    • The burial of shrouded remains is allowed, but remains must be transported and buried in a biodegradable container, such as one made from cardboard.
  • Grave markers
    • Composition
      • Grave marker must be made from natural rock, such as fieldstone or river rock. Marble, granite and other impermeable rock/stone is not permitted.
      • Markers must have as natural an appearance as possible, including irregular edges (i.e., not cut) and lay flush to the ground. Markers may not rest in an upright position.
    • Size
      • Grave markers may not exceed 400 square inches in size (or 18” by 18”) and may not rest more than 3” above grade.
    • Inscriptions
      • Faces may be inscribed or engraved. Faces may not be cut or polished.
    • Source
      • Green Meadow can recommend local suppliers of appropriate rock/stone for grave markers.
    • Approval
      • All grave markers must be approved by Fountain Hill Cemetery prior to installation.
    • Installation
      • Concrete may not be used in the installation of any grave marker.
    • Monuments
      • Monuments, including statues and statuettes, and other embellishments are not permitted.
    • Decorations
      • All decorations must be natural and biodegradable. Ceramic/glass vases or other non-biodegradable containers are not permitted.
      • Fountain Hill Cemetery reserves the right to remove grave markers, memorials, decorations or any other objects introduced to the grave that have not received prior written approval. We also reserve the right to remove flowers, wreaths and other biodegradable decorations when they become unsightly.
    • Plantings
      • Only grasses and flowers native to eastern Pennsylvania may be introduced to graves. For a list of approved plantings, please consult the cemetery management.
      • Trees and shrubs may not be planted on the grave site.