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December 2023: Winter has come to VFC

Here at the Cemetery the snow—as beautiful as it is—has impacted our operations in ways we had hoped wouldn't come until later in the season. But Nature follows its own schedule and we have, fortunately, been able to adapt relatively quickly thanks to a generous donation from one of our founding donors and robust advanced purchases of burial rights.

So far this month, the Cemetery non-profit has:

  • hired a terrific local person to plow the Cemetery Lane that provides access to the burial areas;

  • purchased a mini-excavator to help dig graves and open up new trails into the forest;

  • purchased an ATV for plowing and transporting mourners with restricted mobility down the Lane;

  • purchased a snow blower to clear trails;

  • and purchased a lockable structure to protect and secure this equipment and other tools.

We had anticipated these expenses, but again: we had hoped to defer some of the purchases until later. However, having gone through three successive, heavy, wet snowstorms in three weeks plus a torrential downpour, it was abundantly clear that it was simply not sustainable to clear trails and maintain accessibility through manual labor alone.

Although the Cemetery remains on sound financial footing, having to make all these essential purchases in such a brief period has depleted our “reserve budget” for needed equipment. Your support now, through donations of any size and type, will help us to continue serving our growing community of Graveholders committed to a more sustainable vision for their final resting place.

All donations will go immediately toward these additional needed improvements:

  • an all-terrain electric golf cart to bring mourners of limited mobility directly to gravesites;

  • an all-terrain casket cart with brakes;

  • a pump to help manage water and clean digging tools;

  • a woodchipper to surface trails and provide organic material for graves;

  • a heated hospitality shelter with a composting toilet;

  • support to establish a burial assistance fund and continue making accessibility improvements so that burial at Vermont Forest Cemetery can be welcoming to people of all abilities.

Vermont Forest Cemetery is a 501(c)(13) non-profit, and all donations are 100% tax-deductible. There are many options for giving that you can learn more about at

While our work continues to be physically and emotionally challenging, it also continues to reward us richly. We are deeply grateful to our first six groups of mourners for the honor of burying someone they loved in this beautiful place and in a new/old way they have chosen.

As the light slowly returns and a new year arrives, we hope that all of you are safe, warm, and have some time to rest.

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