Penn Forest News & Views 
The Quarterly Newsletter of Penn Forest  Natural Burial Park                                                                      
October/November/December 2013
In This Issue
Penn Forest Holds Tree Planting and Dedication
Penn Forest at 4th Annual Allegheny Green and Innovation Fair
Plan An Affordable Funeral
New Multiple Lot Discount
Upcoming Events
Death Cafe
Green Burial Questions?
Social Media Links
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Newsletter Archives

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This month, we started a new tradition at Penn Forest. Every October, we will plant trees in honor or in memory of friends, family members, or loved ones.  

Tree planting is important work towards our goal of restoring our little urban forest. For those who participate, it can also be time to grieve and celebrate the life of a loved one. Be sure to mark your calendars for October 2014 and plant a tree for a loved one or animal companion that you want to remember. We will remind you in our 2014 summer edition of the newsletter.


As a community partner, Penn Forest has been busy the past couple months tabling and/or speaking at events. There are even more events coming up this quarter (see our list below).  Come out and support these events and Penn Forest.  


Our next newsletter will be published in January. So, on behalf of Penn Forest, please let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the best for a happy holiday season.




Pete McQuillin
Cemetery Manager

Penn Forest Natural Burial Park Holds 

Tree Planting and Dedication Ceremony 


Tree planting ceremonies and dedications have a long tradition here in the United States, even before Nebraska celebrated the first Arbor Day in 1872.


At Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, this tradition continued when the cemetery held their first tree planting and dedication on Saturday, October 5.


"Anyone who wanted to memorialize a deceased loved one or honor a family member or a friend, or anyone who just wanted to help with Penn Forest restoration, was invited to purchase and plant a tree at the cemetery," said Pete McQuillin, manager of Penn Forest Natural Burial Park.


A total of 17 trees were planted on that day, including dogwood, sour gum, red maple, white oak, and sassafras. Kathy Raborn, our local Penn Hills landscape designer, has created a map of our first restoration plan. Following her plan, these native Pennsylvania trees were planted in burial area C. It was a strong statement of our lot owners' faith in the work we are doing to restore our urban forest.   


A special thanks goes out to the families who participated and Jeff Hodes who organized this event.


Watch the dedication ceremony here >> 


Helen and Butch Buccigrossi with their red maple
Diana Gosilin, Donna and Mom with their white oak 
Kathy Raborn with red oak, also Kristin Hauman, Helen, Donna and Lola


Penn Forest at the 4th Annual Allegheny Green and Innovation Fair   
Hartwood Acres, Hampton Township, Pa. 

Every year more and more 'green' vendors attend the annual Allegheny Green and Innovation Fair at Hartwood Acres.

A beautiful warm fall day contributed to a successful event. For Penn Forest, it was a great day. Many people that we met were interested in learning more about the woodland burial choice. This resulted in 13 new subscribers for our e-newsletter. 

Thank you Susan and Paul Cox, and Kristin Hauman and Lola for helping to get the word out. 


Plan An Affordable Funeral
On September 18, Pete McQuillin gave a presentation to the Allegheny County Retirees' Association on making plans for an affordable funeral. There were about 30 people in attendance. They had many questions about funeral pre-planning, controlling funeral costs and green burial in general. 

Pete is available to make similar presentations for your club or group. For further information, call him directly at 412-265-4606.

View Pete's Power Point presentation here >>

Penn Forest Now Offering New Multiple Lot Discount

Penn Forest has been offering a 10% discount on cemetery lots for couples who buy two or more lots together for quite some time.  Recently, however, 
we've started offering this same discount to any two or more people who buy lots together at the same time. So, if you are planning to buy a lot, bring a friend or family member along and each of you will receive a 10% discount.




Upcoming Events
  • Wednesday, October 23, Pete McQuillin will be the first lecturer at the Allegheny YMCA Fall Lecture Series (600 West North Avenue on the Northside of Pittsburgh) Follow this link for further information >>
  • Sunday, October 27, Pete McQuillin will be the Sunday service speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Cumberland, Maryland.  After the service, he will hold a workshop on how to start and manage a green cemetery.
  • Thursday, November 21, Pete will be the luncheon speaker at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside.


Death Cafe

Let's face it - death can be an uncomfortable subject. But, what do you think of the idea of discussing death in a casual and relaxed atmosphere?  If you are interested, Pete McQuillin has agreed to lead the Death Caf´┐Ż here in Pittsburgh.


The objective of Death Cafe is: "To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives."  It's all about an interesting, unstructured conversation - open and free-flowing with no specific agenda.


The Death Cafe concept was started in the United Kingdom by Jon Underwood. He was influenced by the ideas of Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz. At these events, people come together in a relaxed, confidential and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea (or a favorite beverage) and eat delicious cake or cookies.


To learn more about the Death Cafe concept, here are a few articles that may be of interest to you: 


The New York Times The New Old Age Blog: Death Be Not Decaffeinated Death Cafe events: tackling a taboo topic over tea (featuring the Albuquerque Death Cafe)


The Boston Globe: Talk about death, hold the sugar


National Public Radio, Death Cafes Breathe Life Into Conversations About Dying


The Independent (U.K. newspaper): The death cafe movement: Tea and mortality


The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio): Facing death, over tea and cake


Those interested in helping to start a Death Cafe should contact Pete at

Fall at Penn Forest

Green Burial Questions?
You've got questions...we've got answers! 

Check out our Green Burial FAQs >>> You can also get answers to questions about Penn Forest here>>> 

Do you have a question that was not answered in the FAQs?  Email us and we will be happy to answer it for you.

Buy Lots By Mail

If you are interested in purchasing a lot at Penn Forest, you can find the pricing on our website. Click here for pricing.

We hope you enjoyed this issue of our quarterly newsletter!  If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know.


Pete McQuillin
Penn Forest Natural Burial Park

We are Restoring a 32-Acre Urban Forest-One Green Burial at a Time