Mordecai’s Meadow, Bee Friendly Planting & Picnic Day and Urn Art & Garden Faire: Celebrating Earth Day at Oakwood

In April 2016, Historic Oakwood Cemetery introduced Mordecai’s Meadow commenced at the 147 year old cemetery located in Raleigh, North Carolina to celebrate Earth Day. Oakwood started out with green burials in the past and has now decided to provide the same option for anyone interested in simply going back to nature. Bodies reunite with the earth through the usage of biodegradable caskets and other materials. Decedents chose to forego the embalming fluids and concrete or metal vaults for the nature friendly choice. The cycle of nature becomes complete with the ever old “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” saying.

While Raleigh is an urban environment with much history surrounding the city, Oakwood has bid adieu to many an old friend through green burials, which was a common occurrence back in the 1860s for most before the advent of embalming. Mordecai’s Meadow has a namesake inspired by the original burials, but also by the previous landowners of the grounds, the Mordecai family who graciously gave land to create what the cemetery is now. Executive Director Robin Simonton says the idea of a Green Burial has been in the making for years.

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Made by Julie Moore

Several cemetery friends came out to talk about green burials such as Pine Forest Memorial Gardens in Wake Forest, Renaissance Funeral Home in Raleigh, Piedmont Pines Coffin in Bear Creek and more at our mini fair.

Earth friendly coffin made by Julie Moore who also specializes in making urns.

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Executive Director Robin Simonton and Superintendent Sam Smith at Mordecai’s Meadow Opening Ceremony

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With the addition of Mordecai’s Meadow came another earth friendly event hosted for the first time at Oakwood. Our volunteer, Charlene Vlaskamp Stell, was inspired to create the Bee Friendly Planting & Picnic Day after coming across neat ideas on Facebook. Needless to say, the event was a success with children and adults coming out to learn about bees and enjoying a picnic under the sun. Folks also had a chance to create their own bee art to take home and feel a honeycomb.

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Oakwood’s Beehives

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More plants the bees will appreciate from folks who came by with Salvia, Butterfly Bushes, Hyssops, Lavender, etc…

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The Urn Art & Garden Faire was once again held here. Many talented artists submitted unique and mesmerizing works to be judged. This particular event allowed visitors to also judge with ones they felt was worthy of a prize.