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Message from the President: Continued Growth

At a recent meeting of the Heritage Acres Board of Trustees, I was struck by how far our organization has come in just a couple of years. There was a buzz – a palpable energy and even synergy in the room – as eight people of different ages and backgrounds, experiences and skill-sets, brainstormed, collaborated, and dedicated themselves to taking on the multitude of necessary tasks that come with any new venture. As the complexity of what we are doing grows... our team continues to grow as well.

Some team members are responsible for fundraising and promoting our message to the community. Others are involved in business planning, municipal zoning, communications, record-keeping, website management, and financial tracking. And we don’t even have land to care for or families to serve – at least, not just yet.

We are, however, at the point where we will soon need many more committed volunteers.

Do you share our vision for land conservation, reforestation, natural resource preservation, and a return to tradition when honoring those facing the transition of death? If so, we’d love for you to join our Heritage Acres family as a volunteer. If that interests you, we encourage you to click the “Volunteer at Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary” button at the bottom of this newsletter.

And while you’re there, also consider clicking the “Make a Donation Now” button. We’ve just crossed the $100,000 raised threshold, which means we are well on our way to the $250,000 we need to purchase the property in Pierce Township.

Finally, let me mention just one more way that the Heritage Acres community is growing: Did you know that yours is one of more than 350 households who receive this newsletter each month?

Please keep sharing the word about green burial and Heritage Acres, with your family, friends, neighbors, and even coworkers. And by next month, we hope to have an email list of over 500!

Thank you so much for reading. Let's keep thinking “outside the box” together!

Our Fund Drive is Gaining Momentum!

These generous supporters have already contributed to our 2019 Capital Fund Drive:

Planters ($5,000 or more):

Rowley and Gretchen Ellison
Bob and Ellie Lamb
Barb and Bill Lyon
John and Shannon Murley
Tracy Jo and Dave Small
Joan and Mark Stoffregen
Steph and Les Tacy

Plus one anonymous donor and three other pledges at this level.

Nurturers ($1,000 to $4,999):

Peg Fay-Feder
Joann Meyer
Bob and Karen Rush
Susan Wheatley

Plus five other pledges at this level.

Sustainers ($1,000 or more and an annual pledge for the next three years):

Sarah and Thom Moon

Plus two other pledges at this level.

Sowers ($500 to $999):

Chuck and Cindy Fink
Lynne Lefebvre
The Family of Nancy Ott
Heather Wasco
Neal Watzman

Plus three other pledges at this level.

In addition, nine other individuals and/or families have given in support of our Capital Fund Drive. To date, $117,470 has been pledged to the Capital Fund Drive. See our progress below!

Sincerely, thank you to all our donors.

Do you also want to help make green burial a reality in Cincinnati? Here's how:
Click here to contribute now!
Click here to receive more info via mail.
Board Member Spotlight: Richard Asimus

Richard Asimus serves on the Heritage Acres Board and works actively as a teacher, coach, organizational consultant, and political activist. He grew up in the Western Hills area of Cincinnati, exploring the local undeveloped forests, climbing trees and playing in creeks. Richard still holds a deep love for the woods and feels those boyhood years of playing outside, and subsequent years witnessing the development of his beloved woods, have truly shaped him into the person his is today.

How did green burial become a part of your life?

One of Richard's friends connected him with Heritage Acres President, Bill Gupton, through a local cooperative called Community Circles, which brought interesting people together through stories and music. All Richard could say is that Bill truly "changed my life... and in that, he changed my death as well."

What has green burial taught you?

"I have learned that although death causes heartbreak... beauty still remains," Richard explained. He shared a memory of reading the children's novel, Tuck Everlasting, to his daughter. The main character discovers the Fountain of Youth and gains immortality. The lesson is that life is beautiful and meaningful only because it does not last forever.

Have your end-of-life plans changed?

Richard and his wife, Antoinette, had initially planned to be cremated at the end of their lives. But through a deeper education on the environmental effects of cremation, they discovered their hearts aligned more with green burial. "One day when we are each laid to rest at Heritage Acres, our bodies will be returned directly to the earth, nourishing new life to grow. What's more sacred than that circle of life?" shares Richard. 

Why is green burial important to you?

Green burial has not only reduced Richard's fear of death, but increased the value he places on life. Through his own green burial, Richard will be following in the footsteps of his great-grandparents 
— an earthly and spiritual connection he would cherish deeply. 
Poem of the Month

As we look forward to the dedication ceremony of Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary later this year, we are reminded of a poem written for the 2015 dedication of Ohio’s most recently opened natural burial sanctuary, Kokosing Nature PreserveHere is an excerpt from the poem by R.W. Rhodes:

“Returning Naturally”

Far from the madding crowd a poet wrote
lines for a country graveyard’s elegy.
Another on Nantucket wrote of Quaker
graves, and whalers lost at sea.

Here, we map the labyrinthine heart,
encased in clay and tender to the earth.
Close is Nature’s final Lost & Found,
where life has lastly measured out its worth.

We hear the static rattle of the crows,
while patterns of the stars are closely read
and eagle nestlings, fully fledged and fed,
fly where fawns keep pace with watchful does.

Here, amidst the grass and nodding oak,
I go to gaze – the living’s awkward spy –
at dawn and dusk, as if my blood awoke
the scrutiny of some eternal eye.

The buried find a permanent address,

and never change their clothes – a suit or dress –
and say, when asked when they are coming home,

that it is in Ohio’s fertile loam

where all our life prepares us for such sleep,
letting go of things we long to keep.
But now we hear a gently calling bell
whose music gladdens fields of asphodel…

The landscape is a palette of pastels,
surprising music, mixed with perfumed smells.
Botanicals and fauna all inhabit –
with deer and dogs, the turtle and the rabbit,
all creatures great and small, the nightly bats,
hummingbirds and grackles, bees and gnats –
a biosphere of rich diversity,
a looking glass for our humanity.

In life, in death, these threads are deftly spun,
And weave us all together into one.

- R.W. Rhodes 

News In Deathcare: The American Thanatologist Podcast
Hosted by Cole Imperi, a thanatologist and public health educator on a mission to improve the way we deal with death and dying, The American Thanatologist podcast is all about getting you acquainted with the world of thanatology. The first season contains 8 episodes covering thanatology, dremains (or digital remains), music thanatology, death companioning, shadowloss, thanabotany, how we die and an exploration of the impact of the true crime genre. This is a podcast for people who are ready to live a brighter life by embracing the light of loss. Listen to the trailer here!
We're Now On Instagram!
Be sure to follow our new profile, @greenburialcincy, on Instagram to get the latest Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary land updates, photos, and green burial education!

We also encourage you to follow some
of our green burial friends:

Larkspur Conservation, @naturalburial
Penn Forest Cemetery, @pennforestcemetery
Foxfield Preserve, @foxfieldpreserve
Green Umbrella, @greenumbrellacincy
Cole Imperi, CT, @imperi

Special thanks to our amazing Founders Circle!

Antoinette Asimus
Bob & Connie Booth
Maureen Boylan
Forrest Brandt & Kathy Wade
Donna & Mark Buckley
Frank Collins & Louise Lawarre
Gretchen & Rowley Elliston
Peg Fay-Feder
Bill Gupton & Jennifer Sanders
Ann & Hank Jarboe
Bob & Ellie Lamb
Joann Meyer
John & Shannon Murley
Julia Sandman
Tracy Jo Small
Joan & Mark Stoffregen
Les & Steph Tacy

Missed a previous newsletter? Have no fear! Our past newsletters are available below.

Make A Donation Now!
Volunteer At Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary
Learn More About Green Burial

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Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary · 2710 Newtown Road · Cincinnati, Ohio 45244 · USA

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