Green Meadow is the Lehigh Valley’s
first – and only
Located in Fountain Hill, PA, in Lehigh County, our green cemetery offers green — or natural — burial in a wildflower meadow on the grounds of Fountain Hill Cemetery. On our quarter-acre field of wildflowers and grasses the dead are returned to the natural cycle of life – to nourish soil, green a meadow, and, in that way, live on.
Rejoin the cycle of life
Green Meadow Cemetery
Green Meadow is the Lehigh Valley’s first – and only – green cemetery.
Here, in a broad field of wildflowers and grasses native to Pennsylvania, the deceased return to the earth in vaultless graves, laid to rest in caskets made from a range of biodegradable materials, like wicker, pine, and sea grass. Bodies are unembalmed. Graves are marked with rustic fieldstone that’s collected from the region and laid flush to the ground.
The goal? To allow remains to degrade naturally and rejoin the elements, to use what’s left of a life to regenerate new life, to return dust to dust. At Green Meadows, we believe that death is no mere end. In our natural, green cemetery, it’s a continuation, part of the great Cycle of Life — of death and rebirth, regeneration and decay – that turns to make all life possible.
We invite you to visit and see how that idea lives on in eastern Pennsylvania.
Talk with our staff today
Frequently asked questions
Green burial is a form of burial that looks to return one’s remains to the natural environment as directly and simply as possible. To that end, it prohibits practices and products that attempt to preserve the dissolution of one’s remains, including chemical embalming, metal caskets and burial vaults. In their stead, green burial providers allow for caskets made from a range of biodegradable materials, like pine, wicker, and cardboard. Grave markers are also of a natural material, such as fieldstone or river rock.The idea is to welcome, even invite, the body’s decay and its reincorporation into the elements. For more information, see the signature book on green burial, Grave Matters, by Mark Harris.
Plots measure 4’ by 8’.
Cremated remains may be scattered in a soon-to-be-established flower garden within Green Meadow (price to be determined). They may also be buried in a section of the meadow reserved for cremated remains or in a standard plot.
Certainly. We ask that the coffin be sturdy enough to support the weight of a 300-pound body and that it measure no larger/wider than the size of the grave, which is 4’ x 8’.
You are welcome to cover your loved one in a shroud. We do, however, require that the shrouded body be transported, placed and buried in at least a minimal, cardboard container.
Fieldstone, river rock or other stone that’s native to the stratum of eastern Pennsylvania is permitted. Any stone you do chose must first be approved by the cemetery staff. Keep in mind that grave markers may not exceed 400 square inches in size (or 18” by 18”) and may not sit more than 3” above grade.
We can recommend area suppliers.
You’re welcome to engrave the grave marker yourself. We can also recommend area engravers who know how to work with irregular stone.
Fountain Hill Cemetery
Historic Fountain Hill Cemetery sits on 13 acres of a wooded hillside that offers sweeping views of Fountain Hill and South Mountain.
Founded in 1871, the Cemetery was conceived by the Reverend C. J. Cooper, pastor of Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church, who directed the attention of his congregation to the necessity of setting aside a proper burial ground for their dead. Under his direction, members of several local churches banded together and secured a charter for the incorporation of the Fountain Hill Cemetery Company. Their aim: to create a non-profit cemetery that served the needs of families of all denominations. The Company subsequently purchased from Tinsley Jeter, Esquire, nearly seven acres of land half a mile west of the South Bethlehem borough line.
Patterned after European burial grounds, the newly established Fountain Hill Cemetery featured walkways and drives that wound throughout the lush, wooded site. The bucolic setting proved a welcome refuge from the bustling, industrial environment that had become Bethlehem, and soon families were stopping at Fountain Hill Cemetery not just to visit the graves of their dead but to stroll, relax, and picnic on the peaceful grounds.
More than a century after its founding, Fountain Hill Cemetery continues to serve the families of the Lehigh Valley. To schedule a visit and/or purchase plots, call Ed Vogrins: 610-868-4840.