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Spaces for reflection at Austin's green cemetery

Three years ago, Ellen MacDonald established Eloise Woods Community Natural Burial Park, the first and only green cemetery in central Texas. She had an overwhelming passion to create a woodland burial park where bodies are allowed to go back to nature quickly, efficiently and naturally — with no preservatives, chemicals or non-biodegradable materials. Now, 56 people and 66 animals have made the burial park their final resting place.

"I love helping people bury their family and pets in a simple, affordable earth-friendly way," MacDonald told us. "Austin is an amazing community that is supportive of its people and celebrates their lives. I believe that burials are a unique way to be a part of that support system."

MacDonald will use the Awesome Foundation grant to create engraved stone benches throughout the park. "A stone bench may seem simple in theory," she says, "but in practice, a place to sit will provide people with space for reflection, and welcome them to return."

Funded by Austin, TX (July 2014)