Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester and Ascension Garden in Henrietta received a Green Burial Certification from the national organization the Green Burial Council. The certification is the first for any Catholic cemetery in the state, officials said.
The certification, according to the council, indicates that cemetery operators commit to transparency, accountability and oversight of their burial policies. Green burials are aimed at conserving natural resources, reducing carbon emissions, protecting worker health and restoring/preserving habitat. According to the cemetery, green, or natural, burials are growing in popularity as people become more environmentally conscious. To apply for the certification, Holy Sepulchre and Ascension Garden conducted ecological assessments; green burials are done in the St. Francis Meadow section of Ascension Garden and in the Trinity section of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
"We’ve designed these green burial sites so that there is no interruption in the natural ecosystem," Jim Weisbeck, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery and Ascension Garden general manager, said in a statement. "This certification is not only a distinction for our cemeteries and the work we do, but furthers our commitment to serving the needs of our increasingly green-conscious patrons both present and future."